Aggressive MSN Offer Follows Record Growth And Makes the Everyday Web More Accessible for Consumers

REDMOND, Wash., April 4, 2000 — Signaling an unprecedented growth trend in the membership and reach of the MSN TM network of Internet services, Microsoft Corp. today announced record subscriber growth for its Internet access business. MSN experienced 500,000 net new additions in the last four months and a 12 percent growth in reach in just over six months, compared to AOL’s 3 percent decline in reach and Yahoo’s 4 percent growth in reach during the same time period (according to Media Metrix Inc.). In addition, Microsoft announced a new promotion that offers six months of free* Internet access to consumers who sign up for one year of service, providing them with an excellent opportunity to experience the best of the Web through a fast and reliable MSN connection.

“We are thrilled to bring such a tremendous and unmatched offer to consumers: six months of free high-quality access from Microsoft,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of marketing for MSN.
“With a service that is top-rated in reliability by experts and offers enhanced services such as search, e-mail and instant messaging software, there’s never been a better time or a more compelling offer for people to get on the Internet with MSN.”

The six-month free Internet access offer is yet another way MSN makes the Everyday Web more broadly available to every person every day. MSN also delivers value to consumers by providing easy-to-use, leading services that are proven to help them experience the best of the Web. As validation, MSN has been attracting more users to its service since unveiling its Everyday Web vision last fall:

  • There are now 39 million unique visitors to MSN monthly.

  • MSN Messenger Service now has more than 10 million active users, enabling instant access to more people’s friends and family online.

  • The MSN Hotmail® Web-based e-mail service continues its strong growth as the largest free e-mail system in the world with 61 million active accounts worldwide.

  • MSN boasts services in 32 markets and 17 languages, making the Web more accessible to users internationally.

MSN is aggressively stepping up its advertising and marketing efforts to further propel its recent growth. This promotion coincides with MSN Project, Microsoft’s largest consumer advertising campaign to date, and will be broadly communicated through advertising, direct mail and leading consumer retailers including Best Buy Company Inc., MEI (Micro Center), Office Depot Inc. and RadioShack.

MSN was also the first to introduce a popular rebate program through channel retailers last year. Since that time, MSN has seen an outstanding response to its service and now provides consumers with additional value by offering six months of its premium Internet Access service for free. Now through June 30, 2000, consumers can take advantage of this offer by visiting or by calling (800) FREE-MSN (373-3676).

MSN Benefits to Consumers

In addition to providing fast, reliable access to the Internet, MSN enables consumers to easily take advantage of the full power of the Web. The new default start page for MSN Internet Access is based on the MSN home page so users can quickly jump to the MSN Hotmail Web-based e-mail service, MSN Messenger Service, MSN Web Communities, MSN Search, MSN eShop and other services at the core of their Internet experience. MSN offers toll-free 24×7 technical support and is constantly updating the service with additional modem lines and dial-up numbers so users can get online when they want with fewer busy signals and disconnects.** MSN continues to add more value to its service with features such as smart roaming that allows people on the road to connect to the Internet without having to worry about looking up local access numbers.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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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