The Microsoft Network to Increase Available Modem Capacity By More Than 500 Percent

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 25, 1997 — MSN
™
, The Microsoft Network Internet online service (http://www.MSN.com/) , today announced it has dramatically increased the number of modems available to its U.S. members by nearly 300 percent this year. A total increase of approximately 500 percent is expected by the end of 1997.

MSN is the second-largest online service in the United States. This significant network upgrade delivers on the MSN goal of providing more reliable Internet access at all hours. According to a July report by Inverse Network Technology Inc., an independent appraiser of Internet service provider (ISP) performance, MSN ranked first among 13 national ISPs tested for 24-hour call success rate.* Inverse reported that 95.7 percent of calls to MSN connected on the first try.

“With this network expansion, MSN is delivering on one of the top demands of online customers today – reliable access to the Internet,”
said Laura Jennings, vice president, The Microsoft Network.
“Our goal is to provide members with the most value out of their time online, and one of the best ways to do this is to provide members with fast and easy connections to the Internet. This network expansion also supplies the infrastructure to support the continued growth of our membership.”

In addition to the significant increase in the number of modems, MSN is expanding its overall network reach by providing local phone numbers for Internet access to more than 50 new cities. MSN members living in these communities will now be able to access MSN via a local, non-toll phone number. Every city that already has local MSN access is scheduled to receive additional phone numbers.

While the overall network capacity upgrade is expected to total approximately
500 percent, selected major metropolitan areas have received even larger capacity upgrades. The Los Angeles metropolitan area, for example, will receive a combined increase of approximately 600 percent. Access in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area will be increased by more than 570 percent.

The network expansion is being deployed in conjunction with a long-standing MSN network partner, UUNET Technologies Inc., a subsidary of World Com Inc. (NASDAQ “WCOM”).

Members of MSN can update their listing of MSN dial-up numbers in the Member Services area of MSN. Once members have downloaded the new numbers, they can change their default dial-up number by following the step-by-step directions provided.

The aggressive network expansion plan is the latest in a series of improvements to the MSN dial-up network. The MSN 56Kbps modem field trials have been expanded to seven U.S. metropolitan areas (Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, New York and Washington, D.C.) and two international regions (Toronto and the United Kingdom). These trials, which feature K56flex technology, offer members of MSN high-speed connections to the Internet through the latest Internet technologies.

MSN Background

The award-winning MSN is the second-largest online service in the United States, offering valuable services, rich communications and communities, and compelling programming on the Internet. MSN also provides hundreds of special-interest forums and bulletin boards and such high-quality services and Web programming as the Microsoft® Encarta® multimedia encyclopedia, the Expedia
™travel service, Star Trek: Continuum® , Disney’s Daily Blast SM and Family.com SM , the Slate
™
online magazine, the CarPoint
™
online automotive service, the Microsoft Investor online investing service, and up-to-date news and information from MSNBC News. The MSN home page can be reached at (http://www.MSN.com/) . Additional press information is available at (http://press.MSN.com/) .

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. >P>*The 13 providers included in the test were AOL, AT & T, CompuServe, Concentric, Earthlink, IBM, MCI, MSN, MindSpring, NetCom, Prodigy, Sprint and UUNET.

Microsoft, MSN, Encarta, Expedia, Slate and CarPoint are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Star Trek: Continuum is a registered trademark of Paramount Pictures.
Daily Blast and Family.com are service marks of Disney Online.

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

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

For more information, press only:

Chris Voss, Shandwick, (425) 452-5400, cmvoss@shandwick.com

For online information:

Visit the MSN Press Web site at (http://press.MSN.com/) .

Note to editors : If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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