MSN Continues Momentum as the First Internet Online Service

REDMOND, Wash., April 30, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it is continuing to take steps toward its goal to make MSN
™
, The Microsoft Network, an Internet online service. As part of this initiative, MSN will migrate existing properties and offer all new content on the World Wide Web. MSN News is among the first content properties to move to the World Wide Web and has been specifically redesigned for this medium. While most MSN Web-based content will be available for subscribers only, MSN News will be made available for all users of the World Wide Web.

Additionally, a new MSN pricing plan, the MSN Content Plan, is being introduced for people who already have Internet access with another dial-up access provider. For $6.95 a month, current dial-up Internet users can receive unlimited access to all MSN content and services. A special price of $39.95 for one year on this plan is also being offered until Aug. 31, 1996.

“The Microsoft Network continues to lead the way in offering what Internet users want in the way of entertainment and information,”
said Laura Jennings, vice president of The Microsoft Network division at Microsoft.
“We are focused on delivering made-for-the-medium content. MSN News is the first in a series of many exciting media properties to come.”

MSN News will debut with a new look and has been redesigned to take advantage of the unique features of the Web such as high-quality graphics, streaming audio, photos and video. Using new technology, MSN News will publish a greater number of high-quality stories to be presented in a timely manner. MSN News on the Internet will be updated continuously as news breaks. Integrated Web links, found by a team of editors who maintain a database containing more than 7,500 links, will enhance the content of each MSN News story and provide context. For example, a story on a baseball game could include links to the Internet’s most popular sites for baseball statistics and team information.

“We’ve redesigned MSN News to be the premier site on the Internet for up-to-the-minute news and information,”
said Andy Beers, MSN News director.
“With every story in MSN News, people will find links to related Web sites or MSN sites to let them dig deeper into a story topic, get opposing points of view on a controversial issue, chat with relevant discussion groups, or get further information on how a story affects them and the region in which they live.”

Content Plan Pricing

The new MSN Content Plan pricing is scheduled to be available by mid-May. This new pricing option is available to U.S. members only. The Content Plan is in addition to existing pricing plans for MSN that include dial-up Internet access from MSN:

  • Annual Plan. $49.95 per year; includes three hours of usage per month; each additional hour costs $2.50.

  • Frequent User Monthly Plan. $19.95 per month; includes 20 hours of usage per month; each additional hour costs $2.

  • Standard Monthly Plan. $4.95 per month; includes three hours of usage per month; each additional hour costs $2.50.

  • MSN Content Plan. $6.95 per month for unlimited access to MSN content (using a third-party Internet service provider); special introductory price of $39.95 per year available through Aug. 31, 1996.

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 Dun & Bradstreet, Individual Inc., NBC, Paramount, Starwave Corp., United Airlines and USA Today.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
“MSFT”
) 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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