Leading Wireless Carriers Select MSN Mobile To Deliver Interactive Web Services to Consumers

NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 28, 2000 — Today at CTIA WIRELESS 2000, the largest wireless technology conference in the country, Microsoft Corp. announced it has teamed up with leading wireless carriers to make MSN TM services and content more broadly available, any time, anywhere and from any device. Nextel Communications Inc. and AirTouch Cellular plan to offer MSN Mobile 2.0, the two-way customizable wireless information service from MSN, as part of their services beginning in April. WebLink Wireless Inc. and Totally Free Paging.com Inc. will offer an enhanced one-way version of MSN Mobile notifications. MSN Mobile 2.0 will be available from Web-enabled mobile phones and handheld devices such as Pocket PCs and Palm handheld computers.

“The adoption of MSN Mobile by multiple carriers demonstrates Microsoft’s leadership in bringing forth the wireless Web,”
said Brad Chase, senior vice president of the Consumer Group at Microsoft.
“MSN Mobile is a significant aspect of our ongoing effort to transform the Web into a highly personalized place that people rely on in their everyday lives.”

Inclusion of MSN Mobile on these new devices will enable more than 56 million users of the MSN Hotmail® Web-based e-mail service to interact in real time not only with their e-mail but with other leading MSN services, all from Web-enabled mobile phones and handheld devices. These services include the No. 1-rated MSNBC.com news service, the award-winning MoneyCentral TM online personal finance service and Expedia.com TM , the most popular online travel service.

The enhancement to MSN Mobile as an interactive customizable service and its extension to mobile phones and handheld devices brings Microsoft one step closer to its vision of the Everyday Web, which involves transforming the Web into a more efficient, highly personalized place to get things done, any time, anywhere and from any device.

“We are very excited about our alliance with Microsoft and look forward to extending the power of the Internet to our customers when we launch our Nextel Online services in the second quarter of 2000,”
said Tom Kelly, executive vice president of Marketing and Strategic Planning at Nextel Communications.
“The co-marketed Nextel and MSN services will include e-mail, address book contacts and access to other Internet-based content.”

Easiest, Most Complete Service Distinguishes MSN as a Leader

According to the Yankee Group, consumer demand for Internet access from wireless devices is growing. In December 1999, the Boston-based consulting firm estimated that by the end of 2000, 15 million wireless phone subscribers will be using their phones to access data from the Web. The number is expected to increase to 20 million in 2001.

Microsoft announced at last month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that it would incorporate interactive Web access into MSN Mobile 2.0. Today’s announcement regarding specific relationships with leading wireless carriers comes less than 60 days later. Through the highly integrated services and content on MSN, Microsoft provides consumers with an unparalleled mobile computing experience, enabling them to quickly and easily access personalized information from a variety of devices and through a multitude of carriers.

MSN Mobile 2.0 will also support Pocket PCs, the next-generation platform for a new breed of personal digital assistants (PDAs) that provide users with simple personal information manager (PIM) functionality, as well as one of the most functional Web browsers available for mobile devices. Handheld computers based on both Pocket PC and Palm Computing platforms will be able to access content offline. Pocket PC devices will also support an online scenario. The offline scenarios for both will be supported through a relationship with AvantGo Inc., a free interactive Internet service that will provide a customized version of their software for MSN.

Integration and Personalization of MSN Services Eases Navigation

The size of current display screens on cellular phones and handheld devices and the restrictions imposed by a 10-digit keypad can make data entry difficult and time-consuming. One of the biggest advantages of MSN Mobile 2.0 is that all the services it provides – news, e-mail, address book, travel information, stocks, weather and entertainment – are integrated with the services and content from MSN, so users can personalize the information they need by visiting http://mobile.msn.com/ from their desktop computer or directly from their Web-enabled mobile device. This seamless integration of services in MSN Mobile 2.0 requires users to enter all personal information only once, after which they can view it with a few simple clicks without having to toggle between different links or sites.

For example, a busy executive in a taxi on the way to the airport might click on the travel link to visit Expedia.com, where she can verify her flight status, view her travel itinerary, and use the MSN Yellow Pages to pull up a list of Italian restaurants in her destination city. She might also obtain driving directions from the airport to her hotel or access local news, weather and sports scores from MSNBC.com.

After tracking the news of her favorite company, she might also check her stocks through MSN MoneyCentral. If she suddenly needs to call her broker, she can click on the Addresses link to access her address book in MSN Hotmail, find the phone number, and initiate the call automatically. MSN Mobile 2.0 allows users to quickly and easily stay connected to the information they need with a few simple clicks.

About MSN and Microsoft

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 TM ( 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 personal finance, travel, automotive services, shopping and more; an online community; a Web search engine and directories; and top-rated Internet access.

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.

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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