Microsoft Signs Agreement With Compaq to License Hotmail-Based Communications and Messaging Technologies to AltaVista

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 26, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it has signed an agreement to license online communications technologies of MSN
™ built on the MSN Hotmail
Web-based e-mail service – to Compaq Computer Corp.’s newly created, wholly owned subsidiary, the AltaVista Company. The communications platform includes the No. 1 Web-based e-mail service and future communication features. In exchange, Microsoft will use AltaVista Search as the primary Web search engine for the MSN network of Internet services. Each company’s technology will be co-branded on the other’s site.

“This agreement is a win-win situation for consumers as well as both companies. Users of AltaVista will enjoy the most popular e-mail system in the world, and users of MSN will have access to the largest search index on the Web in any of 25 languages,” said Laura Jennings, vice president of MSN. “Microsoft and Compaq will be able to make use of each other’s strengths and investments in their respective technologies to provide greater value to their customers.”

“As we continue to evolve AltaVista into a leading Internet destination site, our users will not only gain access to innovative services on Hotmail, but also become part of a strong online community of over 40 million consumers,” said Rod Schrock, president and CEO of the AltaVista Company.

This agreement marks an expansion of MSN Web Platform Services offerings to include communications technologies. Previously, MSN offered Microsoft® Travel Technologies as a platform for online travel services.

“Delivering value through software is one of Microsoft’s core competencies,” added Jennings. “Licensing Hotmail as a platform is a ringing endorsement for the popularity, reliability and scalability of the world’s largest e-mail provider.”

Microsoft’s award-winning Hotmail is the world’s leading free Web-based electronic mail service, with more than 30 million members and an average of 150,000 new accounts established each day. With offices in California’s Silicon Valley, the company offers globally accessible, easy-to-use and feature-rich personal e-mail to its members. Hotmail was acquired by Microsoft in December 1997 and is now part of the Microsoft Interactive Media Group. Hotmail is a leader in consumer advocacy and is widely recognized for its strong anti-spam measures. To sign up for Hotmail, go to or .

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.

Microsoft, MSN and Hotmail 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.

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