MSN Messenger Service Reaches Over 700,000 People In First Six Days of Availability

REDMOND, Wash., July 28, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that MSN TM Messenger Service ( http://messenger.MSN.com/ ) has reached over 700,000 people since becoming available on July 22. MSN Messenger Service is a free* Internet messaging service that tells consumers when their friends, family and colleagues are online and enables them to exchange online messages and e-mail with users of the MSN Hotmail TM Web-based e-mail service as well as with people using AOL Instant Messenger. New MSN Messenger Service members are signing up at a rate that rivals the sign-up rate for new mailboxes on MSN Hotmail, the world’s most popular free* Web-based e-mail service.

“Consumers are installing MSN Messenger Service at an unprecedented rate,”
said Brad Chase, vice president of the Consumer and Commerce Group at Microsoft.
“The early popularity of this service is a clear indication that we’ve struck a chord with consumers by offering functionality that they are demanding.”

Many consumers have responded positively to MSN Messenger Service’s tight integration with other communications tools, such as MSN Hotmail and Microsoft Outlook® Express 5, as well as its quick and easy installation process. Consumers have cited the ability to use a single instant messaging application to exchange messages with friends and family on multiple instant messaging services as a primary reason for downloading MSN Messenger Service.

“MSN Messenger Service is the best thing that’s ever happened to instant messaging,”
said Robert Wilkens, of Long Island, N.Y.
“In a matter of a few minutes, I was up and running, using one service to talk to my contacts on AOL Instant Messenger and to all my friends using MSN Hotmail who had installed the service. Plus, because MSN Messenger Service integrates with Outlook Express 5, I can send instant messages or e-mail, start a multiplayer game or video conference – all from one interface.”

New users of MSN Messenger Service have also been drawn to the service by its strong privacy features that help keep users in control of their personal information.

“I love the privacy features of MSN Messenger Service,”
said Craig Wells of Phoenix.
“I can decide not only who knows I’m online, but my status while I’m there. More important, MSN Messenger Service will let me know who wants to add me to their contact list. This is one of the most important features for me.”

The MSN Messenger Service client is available for download free* from http://messenger.MSN.com/ . MSN Messenger Service is currently available in English, French, German and Japanese. U.S. residents 18 years or older signing up for the MSN Messenger Service between now and Aug. 11, 1999, will automatically be entered into the MSN Messenger Service Instant Gratification Sweepstakes**. Each day, one person who signs up for MSN Messenger Service will be randomly selected to win $5,000. In addition, everyone who signs up for MSN Messenger Service during the sweepstakes period will have a chance to win the grand prize of $10,000. Sweepstakes participants will receive one additional chance at the grand prize for each contact, up to 20, added. Details and official rules can be found at http://messenger.MSN.com/promo/contestrules.asp .

About MSN

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 MSN.com ( http://MSN.com/ ), 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; wireless services information; 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.

About Microsoft

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.

*Connect-time charges may apply.

**Users can enter without downloading the MSN Messenger Service program by sending in their entries by mail.

Microsoft, MSN, Hotmail and Outlook 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.

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