Microsoft FrontPage 97 Beta Exceeds 230,000 Downloads In First Three Weeks of Availability; Extends Lead as Top Internet and Intranet Web Authoring and Management Tool

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 29, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that the newly released beta version of Microsoft® FrontPage® 97 with Bonus Pack is achieving unprecedented customer acceptance and momentum. Since the introduction of the new version of Microsoft’s premier Web authoring and management tool just three weeks ago, more than 230,000 users have downloaded the beta from the World Wide Web at , shattering previous category records. Early reviews by users and industry experts confirm that FrontPage 97 with Bonus Pack has further extended the lead that FrontPage 1.1 has established in the category. In support, Best Internet, The Earthlink Network and NETCOM today each announced plans to offer FrontPage-based Web hosting services, bringing some of the industry’s largest Internet service providers (ISPs) into the FrontPage fold.

“These incredible download numbers and overwhelmingly positive user feedback underscore the growing demand for the ability to publish professional-quality of Web sites without programming,”
said George Meng, group product manager for FrontPage at Microsoft.
“Early adopters of the FrontPage 97 beta, including enterprise customers in search of Web publishing solutions for their corporate intranets, tell us that through enhanced ease of use, integration with Microsoft Office and support for leading Internet technologies, we have truly delivered on the promise of a complete Web suite.”

Industry Experts Laud FrontPage 97 as Best of Breed

Beta testers and industry experts are calling FrontPage 97 with Bonus Pack the standard for Web authoring and management. David Boles, a beta tester and founder of Internet Insider ( , said,
“FrontPage 97 with Bonus Pack packs quite a punch! Microsoft has not only set this new standard with design panache and style, they’ve rolled up their sleeves, balled up a fist and punched it deeply into the heart of the Web. They’ve achieved this milestone by improving upon the original FrontPage 1.1 and making FrontPage 97 with Bonus Pack a toolbox of added function, form and unimagined force for Web designers.”

Product reviewers are also giving the product high praise. For example, Jeff Senna of Infoworld wrote,
“In the past year, Web page design tools have popped up like weeds. In that crowd, Microsoft Corp.’s FrontPage 97, with Bonus Pack is a standout.”
And Mark Kellner of the Washington Times wrote,
“For those of us who have shed tears over Web publishing, if not actual blood and sweat, FrontPage 97 is nothing less than the best package of its kind on the market, at any price.”

Major Industry Players Join Over 100 ISPs Offering FrontPage Web Hosting Services

Further building on this industrywide momentum, Microsoft FrontPage 97 with Bonus Pack remains the preferred choice of Internet service providers (ISPs) worldwide. Today, BEST Internet, The EarthLink Network and NETCOM each announced that they plan to offer FrontPage-based Web hosting services to their customers. Other leading providers that have previously announced support include AT & T Corp., BBN Planet, PSINet Inc. and UUNet Technologies Inc.

“Our customers understand the benefits of promoting and growing their business using the Internet as a tool,”
said Tom Heatherington, president of NETCOM Interactive.
“They look to NETCOM to provide the easiest, most cost-effective way of accomplishing Web presence development, which is why we’ve chosen to make FrontPage and its extensions available to them. FrontPage 1.1 has been extremely popular among small and medium-sized business that want to get on the Web, and we expect this momentum to continue with FrontPage 97.”

Computer users worldwide can obtain information about Microsoft FrontPage 97 with Bonus Pack, download the beta at no charge, or order a CD-ROM for a nominal shipping and handling charge at . Users can also place orders for beta software on CD-ROM by calling (800) 423-0604.

Microsoft FrontPage 97 with Bonus Pack is scheduled to be available in December for the same approximate retail price as the previous version: $149 for new users ($109 for Office users after a $40 mail-in rebate). Users of previous versions of the FrontPage Web authoring and management software will be able to upgrade for the approximate retail price of $54.95.

The Bonus Pack included with FrontPage 97 contains Microsoft Personal Web Server, Microsoft Web Publishing Wizard, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 and Microsoft Image Composer 1.0, giving users all the tools they need for authoring, managing, posting, viewing and composing rich content for their Web sites. Microsoft FrontPage 97 with Bonus Pack runs on the Windows® 95 and Windows NT® operating systems. A version of Microsoft FrontPage for the Macintosh is scheduled to be available in early 1997.

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, FrontPage, Windows and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be the property of their respective owners.

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