MSN Posts Record Growth in International Usage

REDMOND Wash., April 25, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that record numbers of international consumers are visiting MSN TM around the world. MSN international sites have experienced unparalleled growth in unique users of 380 percent between January 1999 and February 2000. This growth has vaulted MSN into a leadership position in the portal market, capturing the No. 1 position in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. MSN also has the broadest deployment of any portal, available in 33 markets and 17 languages around the world. Also experiencing rapid growth are MSN online services such as MSN Hotmail® , which has seen an increase of 80 percent in international markets since July 1999. MSN Hotmail provides consumers with a fast, reliable and secure e-mail service, enabling them to keep in touch from wherever they are from any computer connected to the Internet. Localized in seven languages, MSN Hotmail is the world’s most popular free Internet-based e-mail with over 66 million users worldwide.

“The explosive international growth of MSN demonstrates the importance of providing a truly global Internet solution,”
said Moshe Lichtman, vice president of Consumer Group International at Microsoft.
“The power of the Internet is in breaking down barriers such as language and borders and allowing users worldwide to utilize the Web. MSN is dedicated to helping consumers get more from the Web through powerful Internet services, in their own language with relevant local content. Our international success verifies the MSN strategy to offer integrated best-of-breed Internet services and team with strong local content providers to deliver the Everyday Web to consumers around the world.”

Localization is a key component in the MSN mission to create relevant and useful Internet resources for consumers, enabling them to get more from the Web every day. Services such as MSN Messenger Service, MSN Custom Web Sites and MSN Chat can be found in all 33 markets in local languages. Content providers in each market deliver locally relevant news, weather and entertainment. Worldwide, MSN has created 295 content channels and joined with 1,200 content partners to deliver the best local information in each market.

“MSN works locally to bring national events to the international audience, demonstrating the universal nature of the Internet,”
Lichtman said. For example, a webcast with Sir Paul McCartney from the United Kingdom attracted audiences from many countries. In May, the broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest throughout MSN in Europe, the Middle East and Africa is expected to attract the biggest audience ever to a single event.

MSN continues to expand into new markets and offer localized services and products in additional languages. Most recently, MSN launched Latin American and Israeli language portals. In March 2000, MSN and Telmex, Mexico’s largest telephone company, formed an alliance to create , the largest Spanish-language portal site with fully localized content and services. The Israeli portal site, , launched on April 10, 2000, in Hebrew.

MSN International Milestones

About MSN

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 TM ( ), 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.

About Microsoft

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.

Microsoft, MSN, Hotmail, Windows Media and are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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