Microsoft Announces Internet Referral Server to Facilitate Selection Of Internet Service Provider for Users of Windows, Microsoft Internet Explorer

REDMOND, Wash. – July 30, 1996 – Microsoft Corp. today announced the Microsoft® Internet Referral Server, giving users of the Windows® 95 and Windows NT® operating systems and Microsoft Internet Explorer version 3.0 the ability to choose and subscribe to an Internet service provider (ISP) in their local area directly from their browser. Users can access the Internet Referral Server easily by making a local call or dialing a toll-free number from all major Microsoft Internet Explorer markets, currently including more than 42 countries worldwide.

“Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for our customers to access the Internet,”
said Brad Chase, vice president of developer relations and marketing in the Internet platform and tools division at Microsoft.
“Using the Microsoft Internet Referral Server, users can get immediate access to the Internet without the delays and confusion that often accompany the selection of an Internet service provider.”

Microsoft also announced today that NETCOM, MCI and AT & T will become the first service providers to be offered on the Microsoft Internet Referral Server, giving Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 users easy access to NETCOM’s NETCOMplete service, MCI’s InternetMCI service, and AT & T® WorldNet Service.

“Microsoft Internet Referral Server will make finding, contacting, selecting and subscribing to an Internet service provider a much easier process for users,”
said Dave Garrison, president of NETCOM On-Line Communications Service Inc., the largest U.S.-based Internet service provider for individuals.
“The Internet Referral Server does the work of finding and contacting NETCOM so users have a simple, one-step process for getting up and running on the Net. We then can provide a valuable Internet experience for subscribers.”

“Users will appreciate having a choice of Internet service providers,”
said Tom Evslin, vice president of AT & T WorldNet Service.
“We are pleased to offer this easy way for new Internet users to sign up for AT & T WorldNet Service.”

“Microsoft’s Internet Referral Server is a big win for the consumer,”
said John Donahue, MCI vice president of consumer marketing.
“Those who choose MCI’s Internet service can be assured that they are connecting to a network designed to the highest specifications.”

Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 users in all supported countries who click
“The Internet”
icon will be connected automatically to the Internet Referral Server. Based on the user’s country, area code and telephone exchange, the Internet Referral Server will present a choice of ISPs with local telephone access numbers along with their subscription and pricing information. By identifying the language of the browser, the Internet Referral Server will load the appropriate localized files. Once the user selects an ISP, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 will connect to the ISP’s sign-up server and allow the user to subscribe, establishing the configuration information that will enable automatic sign-on with that ISP the next time the user clicks
“The Internet”
icon.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, Windows and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

AT & T is a registered trademark of AT & T Corp.

NETCOM On-Line Communications Service is a registered trademark of the company.

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