MSN Is One of Web’s Fastest-Growing Portals In 1998, Outpacing AOL and Yahoo

Outpacing AOL and Yahoo

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 8, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that research shows that the customer reach of the MSN
network of Internet services grew by 59 percent in 1998, outpacing the America Online Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. portals in both percentage and absolute growth. Since integrating its Internet services into one portal earlier this year, Microsoft has seen dramatic increases in customers, strategic alliances and revenue for MSN. Microsoft today also announced the initial rollout of its new worldwide portals, including a new version of MSN France and the launch of 13 additional MSN portals in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

The relaunch of MSN as a network of services has resulted in a 25 percent increase in traffic to MSN in the past two months alone. Since July, when Microsoft began to consolidate its Internet services at one portal site, the reach of the network has increased from 31 percent to approximately 40 percent of all U.S. Internet users*, making MSN one of the fastest-growing portals in 1998. In the same time frame, referral traffic from to the various MSN services is up across the network – as high as 221 percent in the case of the MSN Expedia
travel service. And just last week, MSN Hotmail membership surpassed 30 million worldwide active accounts, adding 20 million members in 1998, with over one-third of those accounts having been added since the October redesign of

“Consolidating our Internet services into one network offering at is paying off for both our customers and our partners,”
said Laura Jennings, vice president of MSN.
“Our customers are using several MSN services at one sitting, providing a more productive online experience and giving our advertisers an increasingly attractive demographic. This is a positive trend as we expand our services worldwide.”

Microsoft has established over 10,000 business alliances for the MSN network of services, facilitating a projected $6 billion in e-commerce on an annualized basis. In the past two months, the HomeAdvisor
online real estate service has signed agreements with hundreds of new real estate associates, including an announcement earlier this month with 500 RE/MAX offices in 40 states. To reach the growing MSN customer base, Merrill Lynch & Company Inc., the largest full-service brokerage firm in the United States, now provides customized personal investment research on the new MSN MoneyCentral
personal finance online service. Expedia has agreements with over 60 travel companies, including World Travel Partners, American Express Co., Continental Airlines Inc., Amtrak and Holland America. MSN Shopping, since incorporating the MSN brand, has added 12 brand-name merchants, including,, K-tel International Inc. and eToys Inc. The MSN CarPoint
™online automotive service refers customers to over 2,000 dealers in the United States, and the MSN Sidewalk® online guide teams with 90 local and national content publishers as well as over 6,000 local advertisers.

Advertising revenue is up considerably for the MSN network- up more than 300 percent over the same quarter a year ago**. Last fall, MSN signed some of the largest advertising deals on the Internet, worth nearly $160 million, with companies such as First USA Inc., John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co., Compaq Computer Corp.’s AltaVista Search Service, Infoseek Corp., Lycos Inc. and Snap! Online. Earlier this year, Unilever PLC, one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world, selected the MSN network as a primary vehicle for its online advertising and marketing.

MSN continues this worldwide momentum with the launch of 13 new portals this week. Available today, MSN portals in Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Latin America, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Spain and Sweden offer search functionality, MSN Hotmail and local content and services. When the rollout of its 24 new portals is complete at the end of the year, MSN will offer portals with local content and services in a total of 31 countries and regions, making it the most widely distributed portal brand in the world.

Microsoft has also enhanced its six existing international portals, adding new features and services to better meet the needs of consumers in each local market.

Today, MSN France ( ) launches a new version integrating new search capabilities, more personalization features, faster performance and local content from well-known providers such as France 3, France Info, Le Monde Informatique and Les Echos, a leading French business daily.

About MSN and Microsoft

MSN is the network of Internet services from Microsoft that helps people better organize the Web around what’s important to them. The network of MSN services, located on the Web at ( ), helps people easily stay in touch with friends and colleagues, make smart and secure purchasing decisions, and get more done. MSN offers award-winning
e-mail functionality; personal communications services; customizable access to news; popular

sites for travel, investing, automotive services, shopping and more; an online community; a Web search engine and directories; and top-rated Internet access.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft 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.

* According to Internet audience measurement service Media Metrix.

** Second quarter fiscal year 1998 compared to second quarter fiscal year 1999

Microsoft, MSN, Expedia, HomeAdvisor, MoneyCentral, CarPoint and Sidewalk 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 on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

Related Posts