REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 15, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced three new language versions of the MSN TM Hotmail TM Web-based e-mail service to provide local language communications tools around the world as one of the key elements of its Everyday Web vision. MSN Hotmail, the world’s largest e-mail service, will now be provided in Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and Italian to target more than 18 million online users in fast-growing markets in Europe and South America.
“These new language versions are a significant step forward in helping deliver the Everyday Web to consumers around the world,”
said Steven Guggenheimer, director of international marketing, Consumer Group at Microsoft.
By providing local language versions of Hotmail, we offer more users a free e-mail service in their own language. This makes e-mail more efficient, intuitive and easy to use, and encourages people to turn to it naturally as part of their everyday lives.
“Spanish is the third most-spoken language in the world. With the release of these new language versions, we’re focused on users in Latin America, North America and Europe. These markets represent a large population of potential new members in countries with growing numbers of Internet users.”
Hotmail now offers a total of seven language variants targeting almost 200 million users around the world. Its increased localization further establishes Hotmail as the most widely available free e-mail service in the world and enables continued rapid growth of the service. Hotmail already serves people in every country, with usage outside the United States representing more than 50 percent of the total.
Microsoft also recently announced that Hotmail has exceeded 52 million active users worldwide. The service’s member base continues to demonstrate strong growth in the United States and internationally, with an average of more than 150,000 daily sign-ups. The growth of Hotmail is driven largely by its ability to deliver what users are looking for: speed, reliability, rich features, overall ease of use and integration with other communications services.
The localized Hotmail user interfaces have the same key features as the English version but are tailored for linguistic and cultural appropriateness for non-English-speaking regions. For example, online help and support inquiries will be answered in the user’s local language. Users can select their preferred language from the Hotmail Sign-In screen or from the Languages button in the Hotmail navigation bar on the left side of the screen.
As part of Microsoft’s localization strategy to make the Web accessible to consumers throughout the world, MSN Hotmail supports a new e-commerce service called Microsoft® Passport. Microsoft also announced today that Passport will shortly be available in multiple languages, enabling more people to take advantage of its single sign-in and
services. Passport makes using the Web and purchasing online easier, faster and more secure by enabling members of Hotmail to use their sign-in name and password on other participating Passport sites across the Web. The Passport wallet service eliminates the need for members to repeatedly type the same shipping and billing information when ordering products or services at different participating Web sites. Specifically, the single sign-in service will be available in 14 languages and the wallet service will be available in 11 languages. These services are supported today by Web sites in the United States, Canada and Australia. Participating Web sites in other countries are expected in early 2000. In addition to Passport’s expansion, Microsoft recently announced plans for MSN Messenger Service 2.0 to be available in 26 languages, making it the most widely available instant-messaging service. Planned languages are Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.
About MSN Hotmail
Microsoft’s award-winning Hotmail is the world’s leading free Web-based electronic mail service, with over 50 million members and more than 150,000 new accounts established each day (connect-time charges may apply). 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 Consumer Group. Hotmail is a leader in consumer advocacy and is widely recognized for its strong anti-spam measures. Those interested in signing up for Hotmail.com can visit http://www.hotmail.com/ or http://MSN.com/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.
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