Mondadori Chooses Microsoft Reader for Debut of eBooks For the Italian Language Market

FRANKFURT, Germany, Oct. 14, 1999 — Today at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore SpA and Microsoft Corp. announced that Mondadori will create and distribute eBooks for the launch of the Microsoft® Reader Italian language version. Mondadori will create an eBook CD with an initial collection of eBook titles, together with the Italian version of Microsoft Reader for distribution with its most popular magazines. These and other titles will also be downloadable from the Web via a new “eBookstore” that will be created as part of Mondadori’s overall Internet offering at .

Mondadori believes that its cooperation with Microsoft to jointly create and deploy an Italian language market for eBooks represents an important step for its global strategy in the new Internet business. This technology, in fact, will enable Mondadori to take advantage of a new way to provide content, creating a business model that uses the Internet not only as an efficient and dispersed distribution channel, but also as a way to substantially expand its core publishing business.

Microsoft Reader is a new PC software application designed to deliver an on-screen computer reading experience that, for the first time, approaches the quality of reading on paper. Microsoft Reader is the first product to include ClearType TM display technology, a Microsoft innovation that greatly improves font resolution on LCD screens for users of Microsoft Windows® operating system-based desktop or laptop PCs as well as dedicated reading devices. In addition to incorporating the latest ClearType technology, Microsoft Reader 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 book marking, highlighting and annotation. It also includes a built-in dictionary as well as a library that can store and manage a large collection of books and other documents.

“Microsoft Reader provides a powerful platform for accelerating the growth of eBooks in our target markets,” said Gualtiero Rudella, director of Business Development at Mondadori. “We are excited about extending our expertise in both traditional publishing and Internet-based publishing and distribution to the world of eBooks.”

“Mondadori’s participation in our eBook product launch helps ensure that a broad range of eBooks will be available when Microsoft Reader is released for the Italian language market,” said Dick Brass, vice president of Technology Development at Microsoft. “eBooks are a worldwide phenomenon and having Mondadori titles available both on CD and via the Web will open new opportunities to sell Italian language eBooks on a worldwide basis.”

Microsoft Reader is scheduled to be available early next year in English, with support for other languages soon thereafter. Pricing for the Mondadori CD and online eBooks has not yet been announced. Additional information on the Mondadori eBookstore Web site will be announced soon.

About Mondadori

Arnoldo Mondadori Editore SpA (traded at the Milan Stock Market) is Italy’s leading publisher and one of Europe’s leading publishing groups. Established in 1907, the company has played a crucial role in the cultural development of Italy, from its foundation to the present day.

The business areas of the company fall into five categories: books, magazines and advertising, printing, direct marketing computer publishing, and new media. In recent years, the company has also been active in reinforcing its strength in all publishing sectors through acquisitions.

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.

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 on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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