MSN Hits 1 Million-Member Mark

REDMOND, Wash., March 25, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that MSN
, The Microsoft Network, has enrolled more than 1 million members in its first seven months of service, making MSN the fastest-starting Internet online service in history. MSN is already one of the world’s largest Internet online services, offering valuable content as well as high-speed Internet access at a competitive price. MSN has members in more than 190 countries and access points in 50, making it a truly worldwide Internet online service.

“We are very excited with our strong growth rate and the fact that we’ve exceeded the 1 million-member milestone within seven months of service,”
said Russell Siegelman, vice president of The Microsoft Network.
“Our goal is to continue to make MSN the best way for people to get on the Internet and to provide the best content and community for our members. Most important, we continue to receive very positive feedback from our members.”

“MSN’s milestone of 1 million subscribers is an achievement in and of itself in a time of great turbulence surrounding the commercial online marketplace,”
said Allen Weiner, director and principal analyst at Dataquest.
“But of greater significance is the strategy MSN has laid out for its future, a future that will see the service evolve from a proprietary-based service to one rooted in the open architecture of the Internet’s World Wide Web. MSN was the first to see this change in the online paradigm, and being the first, the service will be poised to take advantage of a unique market positioning with content providers and others ready to offer unique products and services via the Web.”

Through strategic content alliances and the creation of best-of-breed content, MSN continues to expand its content offerings as well as improve its integration with the Internet. For example, MSN has recently launched the World Wide Web’s most extensive coverage of the 1996 election with the Decision 96 site (, developed with NBC News as part of the MSNBC joint venture formed by Microsoft and NBC earlier this year. Additionally, in February Microsoft announced it had launched a joint venture with Black Entertainment Television (BET) to form a new company to deliver compelling interactive entertainment and information on the Internet. MSN is also working with content providers internationally. Recent international providers include the Australian Broadcasting Corp., Barclay’s Bank PLC in the United Kingdom, Deutsche Verlag-Anstalt GmbH in Germany, JCI Technologies Inc. in Canada, La Tribune Desfosses SARL in France and Nippon Telephone & Telegraph Corp. in Japan.

MSN’s Web site ( includes one of the Internet’s most popular features, MSN Personal Start Page. This allows users to create their own versions of MSN that include up-to-the-minute content such as stock quotes, news, sports scores and even localized weather, movie times and TV listings selected from a list of popular Internet Web sites. MSN on the Internet also includes powerful search tools and an Internet tutorial for new users. Anyone with Internet access can view this content at no charge. Development of international versions of is under way.

Microsoft is committed to broadening access to its content by embracing Internet standards and opening membership to all online users, regardless of their access provider. Furthermore, MSN continues to expand its high-speed access points, now at more than 250, of which over 200 support ISDN access at no extra charge for single channel access. This makes MSN one of the largest ISDN access providers in the United States

MSN, The Microsoft Network, is one of the world’s leading Internet service providers, offering integrated Internet access including an e-mail account, full World Wide Web access (where available) with seamlessly integrated links to popular Web sites, and thousands of Internet newsgroups. MSN also offers hundreds of special-interest bulletin boards and unique multimedia content such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, home-repair titles, car-buying guides, and up-to-date news and information from the service’s news package, MSN News. MSN has content relationships with numerous companies including NBC, Paramount, USA Today, United Airlines, Starwave Corp., Dun and Bradstreet, and Individual Inc. The Microsoft Network is available in 50 countries, and access software is localized into 26 languages.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

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

The Microsoft Network is operated by Microsoft Corp. on behalf of Microsoft Network LLC.

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