New York (Aug. 7, 2002) -- Nasdaq, the world's largest stock market, on Tuesday launched a pilot program that's using the XBRL code for transmitting business report information over the Internet, to distribute investment information.

Nasdaq launched the pilot in a joint effort with Microsoft Corp, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, which are both members of XBRL International, the accounting industry-led group that is developing the code. That group expects the pilot to showcase XBRL's ability "to allow for easy comparisons of the financials of companies within a particular industry."

The pilot program will provide investors with remote access to XBRL-formatted financial data from the reports of 21 Nasdaq-listed companies. XBRL -- a derivation of the Extensible Markup Language or XML programming code, -- enables users to automatically access specific bits of information and format them to meet individual needs.

"The challenge in the financial industry is enabling information workers to analyze industry data in a timely fashion and gain competitive advantage for their organizations," said Jeff Raikes, a Microsoft vice president. Other financial industry buy-in to XBRL includes the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which plans to use XBRL in gathering reports from banks.

-- John M. Covaleski

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