00h00.com Expands Online Distribution of eBooks By Adding Support for Microsoft Reader

FRANKFURT, Germany, Oct. 14, 1999 — Today at the Frankfurt Book Fair,
Éditions 00h00.com SA (“zero hour dot com”) and Microsoft Corp. announced that 00h00.com will expand its Web site by introducing Microsoft® Reader-compatible versions of its complete list of titles, while supporting the efforts of Microsoft to enhance the capabilities of Microsoft Reader. 00h00.com also will make Microsoft Reader with ClearType TM display technology available for download from its Web site. As a result, users will have access to the thousands of titles available on the 00h00.com Web site when the French language version of Microsoft Reader ships early next year. The site also will offer other European language titles as they become available.

Microsoft Reader is a new PC software application designed to deliver an on-screen reading experience that for the first time approaches the quality of reading on paper. Microsoft Reader is the first product to include ClearType display technology, a Microsoft innovation that greatly improves font resolution on LCD screens for users of desktop or laptop PCs running the Microsoft Windows® operating system as well as dedicated reading devices. In addition to incorporating the latest ClearType technology, Microsoft Reader also incorporates the traditions and benefits of fine typography and design. It provides a clean, uncluttered display; ample margins; full justification; proper spacing, leading and kerning; and powerful tools for bookmarking, highlighting and annotation. Microsoft Reader also includes a built-in dictionary as well as a library that can store and manage a large collection of books and other documents.

“eBooks are the next logical step in the evolution of the publishing business,” said Jean-Pierre Arbon, co-founder of
ditions 00h00.com. “The Internet knows no boundaries, and having our eBookstore support Microsoft Reader ensures compatibility around the world.”

“Our agreement with
ditions 00h00.com highlights the marriage of eBooks and the Internet,” said Dick Brass, vice president of Technology Development at Microsoft. “Anyone in the world interested in obtaining eBooks in French will be able to peruse titles, order them directly from the Web, and then read them on PCs as well as a variety of dedicated reading devices.”

Microsoft Reader is expected to be available early next year in English, with support for French and other language versions available soon thereafter. Pricing for the 00h00.com eBooks has not yet been announced.

00h00.com is the leading European online publisher, offering electronic versions of books that are sent by e-mail within minutes of an order. The company also offers print-to-order books and books from the publisher’s stock. Mostly in French, the Paris-based Internet start-up ( http://www.00h00.com/ ) founded in early 1998 offers a catalog of 500 titles, which grows at a pace of one title per day. Many publishers have decided to work with 00h00.com, from large publishing groups (such as Hachette, Havas, Gallimard, Flammarion, Le Seuil, etc.) to independent publishers (such as L’Atalante, Blanche, Odile Jacob, Florent Massot, A.M M
, Maurice Nadeau, Parigramme, etc.) in France, as well as in Quebec (including Bor
al, La Courte
chelle, Fides and Lanct
t) and Belgium (De Boek).

00h00.com plans to provide versions of its titles in all major European languages, starting with English, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. The company will offer its titles in a variety of popular digital formats.

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, ClearType and Windows 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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