Microsoft to Offer MSN 8 Broadband Subscribers a Connected Home Through Free Home Networking Support

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 26, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that MSN® 8, the innovative new version of MSN set to launch this fall, will allow broadband consumers to connect multiple PCs and other devices throughout their home at no additional charge. MSN 8 broadband subscribers also will receive up to 20percent off of the Microsoft®
Broadband Networking Wireless Base Station, enabling them to set-up their home network affordably and easily with the latest technology available. Free home networking support is another value-added service that will be delivered to MSN 8 broadband subscribers in addition to leading technology offering the best high-speed Internet experience.

“MSN is committed to offering consumers the best technology and software services with MSN 8,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN.
“Free home networking support is another way that we are delivering a better high-speed service than other ISPs, which often charge up to an additional $9.95 per month for home networking.”

MSN Broadband, the high-speed Internet access service that will include the new MSN 8 software, along with Microsoft Broadband Networking products, will make it possible for consumers to extend their high-speed Internet service throughout their home via Wi-Fi (also known as Wireless Fidelity or 802.11b), a popular, high-speed networking technology. In addition to the wireless solution, MSN will offer and support the wired product line also provided through Microsoft’s Broadband Networking product line.

Free Home Networking Support Offers Connected Home to Consumers

Millions of consumers can benefit from wireless home networks, which enable consumers to share their broadband connection to the Internet from anywhere in their home and share files and printers between multiple computers located throughout their home or small office. -More than 30 percent of homes with Internet access in the United States have multiple PCs, but fewer than 10 percent of those homes have an active home network. Home networking has not been broadly adopted because of the constraints of wiring a home for connectivity, affordability and security concerns, as well as because of challenging set-up and support issues.

Microsoft has solved these concerns with MSN 8’s free home networking support for broadband subscribers and the Microsoft Broadband Networking products, which provide a number of benefits for consumers, including these:

  • Affordable solution. MSN 8 broadband subscribers will receive free support for home networking by paying only the monthly fee for MSN Broadband, which ranges from $39.95 to $49.95 per month depending on location. In addition, MSN 8 subscribers can purchase the hub for their wireless network, the Microsoft Broadband Networking Wireless Base Station, for $119 — a cost savings of $30 off the estimated retail price during a special holiday offer.

  • Enhanced security features. Recently awarded eight out of 10 stars from CNET, the Microsoft Broadband Networking products also deliver powerful security protection technologies. To help prevent wireless eavesdropping, the Microsoft software Setup Wizard turns on the 128-bit Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption by default. The base station also includes a built-in hardware firewall, support for Network Address Translation (NAT) and Universal Plug and Play (UPnP).

  • Easy set-up and maintenance. A Setup Wizard automates much of the installation for the Microsoft Broadband Networking products, detecting ISP and modem settings as well as configuring the base station and the computer. The Broadband Network Utility allows consumers to view the status of the network and download software updates, and it helps them troubleshoot problems.

  • Integrated customer support. Consumers also benefit from integrated, free customer support from MSN. Regardless of whether they have hardware or service questions, consumers will have access to one, single scompany for customer support.

“Consumers don’t want to call multiple providers, such as their ISP and home networking manufacturer, for assistance. They want a seamless experience — which MSN can provide with its MSN 8 broadband service and Microsoft Broadband Networking products,”
Medhi said.

MSN 8 to Deliver Best Online Experience for Broadband Subscribers

MSN 8 will deliver the best broadband experience to consumers by offering services and features that are specifically designed for a high-speed connection. In addition, MSN 8 offers value-added features such as free home networking support, a built-in hardware firewall and network address translation (NAT) capability to help protect broadband subscribers’ networks from computer viruses and hackers. MSN 8 features such as the personalized Dashboard, an on-screen bulletin board offering consumers access to dynamic information including their favorite MSN Messenger contacts, weather, breaking news, and stock prices, are particularly useful over a high-speed connection. Advanced, rich e-mail capabilities and photo-sharing options are other MSN 8 features that work even better with broadband capabilities. MSN 8 also will provide subscribers with a wealth of rich information, including video and audio content from leading media partners such as ESPN, Access Hollywood, CNBC and MSNBC. MSN 8 will be delivered to MSN Broadband subscribers. MSN Broadbandis available to more than 90 percent of DSL-capable homes in 70 markets in the United States. MSN 8 also will be the preferred online service to all customers in the Qwest and Verizon service areas, which serve over half of the DSL market.

Subscribing to MSN Broadband is one way that consumers can have access to MSN 8, the new, subscription-only Internet software offering advanced communications, browsing and online security features. MSN 8 also will be available to MSN Dial-Up subscribers or as a premium service for consumers who use another ISP. Each of the offerings debuts this fall.

About MSN

MSN attracts more than 300 million unique users worldwide per month. Available globally in 34 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and digital marketing solutions to businesses worldwide. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com/. MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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