Microsoft to Launch Portals in 24 Countries and Regions, Making MSN the Most Widely Distributed Portal in the World

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 1, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced plans to introduce local portal sites of the Microsoft® MSN
™
network of Internet products and services in 24 countries and regions around the world. The new portal sites are scheduled to roll out across Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America before the end of the year.

The increased online presence will more than quadruple Microsoft’s present international distribution, making MSN available for 31 countries and regions, all of which provide local content. Microsoft currently has portals for Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“The Web lifestyle is being realized all over the world, and Microsoft is committed to making a global investment to help users organize the Web around people, interests and services that are important to them,”
said Pete Higgins, group vice president of the interactive media group at Microsoft.
“Our goal for MSN is to help people get things done online wherever they are, in the United States or abroad.”

The international MSN portals will utilize Microsoft technology to deliver local content and services in 13 languages, greatly enhancing the customer experience found on most international portals today. Customizable content modules, such as sports, news, weather and lifestyle clips, will be available when the international portals launch and will vary by market based on third-party contracts negotiated by local country managers. Localized versions of MSN services, including MSN Hotmail, MSN Web Search, MSN Web Communities and MSN Messenger Service, are scheduled to be available in the first half of 1999.

The following planned markets and languages comprise the expansion initiative.

Countries and Regions

Argentina*

Austria

Belgium

Brazil

Chile*

China

Columbia*

Denmark

Finland

Hong Kong

Italy

Korea

Malaysia

Mexico

Netherlands

New Zealand

Norway

Peru*

Singapore

South Africa

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Taiwan

Languages

Chinese (simplified)

Chinese (traditional)

Danish

Dutch

English

French

Finnish

German

Italian

Korean

Norwegian

Portuguese (Brazilian)

Spanish

Swedish

Additional markets may be added in the future as Internet communities mature and begin to adopt Web lifestyle characteristics.

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.

* One of four countries providing local content for MSN Latin America.

Microsoft and MSN 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 trademarks of their respective owners.

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.

Related Posts

The New MSN

In a conversation with PressPass, Microsoft group vice president Rick Belluzzo discusses MSN’s new software and integrated services that give users a more satisfying Web experience.