Microsoft Offers New Payment Option for Subscribers To MSN Internet Access Through Alliance With eCHARGE

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 18, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced an agreement with eCHARGE Corp., the next-generation online payments company, to offer an innovative payment option for subscribers to MSN TM Internet Access. By simply clicking on eCHARGE TM during the installation process, subscribers to MSN Internet Access can have their Internet service charges billed directly to their home phone bill, giving them more flexibility by providing an alternate billing option.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to get on the Web,”
said Rob Bennett, director of marketing for the Consumer and Commerce Group at Microsoft.
“The combination of MSN Internet Access and eCHARGE offers consumers top-quality Internet service with a convenient new billing option.”

As part of the agreement, Microsoft and eCHARGE have agreed to market eCHARGE’s availability on MSN Internet Access through direct mail and e-mail and through Microsoft® advertising. The marketing effort will help make consumers aware that the eCHARGE option is available, providing an alternative for consumers who are concerned about the privacy and security of using their credit card number online.

“The Internet is all about convenience, and eCHARGE is committed to making online payments as simple and powerful as possible,”
said Ron Erickson, CEO at eCHARGE.
“eCHARGE will bring more subscribers to MSN Internet Access because it helps to eliminate the No. 1 barrier to online payments – entering credit card information.”

About MSN Internet Access

MSN Internet Access is committed to providing top-quality performance and reliable access for customers, helping them to get more done while online. According to a June 1999 Inverse Network Benchmark Report, MSN Internet Access received
ratings in all graded categories. In March 1999, MSN Internet Access began testing DSL service and plans to offer service in 20 segments this winter. Customers can order a free* one-month trial of MSN Internet Access by visiting or by calling (800) FREE MSN (373-3676).


Founded in 1997, eCHARGE Corp., the next-generation online payments company, is improving global online payment methods by offering Internet users feature-rich, convenient and secure ways of making online purchases. eCHARGE Corp.’s payment solutions are used by Internet merchants, telephone companies and Internet service providers worldwide, including Microsoft, AT & T Corp., BCTelus, Telia AB, Cable & Wireless plc, ReleaseNow, Intershop Communications Inc., OpenMarket and BFD Productions. Headquartered in Seattle, eCHARGE has offices in Vancouver, B.C.; London; and Tokyo. For more information, go to or call (800) 766-4677.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) 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.

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