Microsoft Promotes Fries to Vice President of Games Publishing

REDMOND, Wash., May 10, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Ed Fries, a die-hard gamer whose game-programming experience dates back to the days of
“Space War”
has been named vice president of Games Publishing within its new Games Division.

Since joining Microsoft’s Games Group in 1996, Fries has helped turn Microsoft into the second-fastest-growing PC game publisher among the field’s top 10 companies. Along with his more than two decades in programming and designing games, Fries brings 10 years of developer experience in Microsoft’s Office Group to his new position, created in March when Microsoft elevated games to its own division.

“Ed has created the right environment for game developers to realize their creative visions and he is passionate about helping them accomplish their goals of designing best-selling games,”
said Robbie Bach, senior vice president of the Games Division at Microsoft.
“Ed will continue to make Microsoft a leading PC game company as well as take on the new challenge of delivering best-selling video games for Xbox.”

The Games Division includes Microsoft’s PC, Xbox and online games businesses. The PC games include hit franchises such as
“Age of Empires® ,” ”
MechWarrior TM ,” ”
Links TM ,” “Flight Simulator”
and the
line of racing games. In fall 2001 Microsoft will introduce Xbox, its first home-gaming console, which will use the company’s software expertise and advanced PC technology to offer the next generation in video games.

As the manager of programmers, game designers and testers, Fries said his goal is to create games that capture the imagination of casual gamers and appeal to the passions of hard-core fans.

“We’re building a successful games publishing business by focusing on quality,”
Fries said.
“We do this by working with the industry’s best developers and providing them with the time, money and publishing resources to realize their creative potential.”

Fries, who joined Microsoft in 1986, spent 10 years building and managing progressively larger teams that developed the company’s Excel and Word products. During his four years with the Games Group, he assembled a team of some of the world’s top game designers and made Microsoft a publisher of choice for designers. The team includes Chris Roberts, founder of Digital Anvil Inc.; Bruce Shelley and Ensemble Studios Inc.; Chris Taylor and his newest venture, Gas Powered Games; and Alex Garden, whose team at Relic Entertainment Inc. designed the critically acclaimed
In addition to third-party developers, Microsoft’s internal team includes Jordan Weisman, creator of
and Alexey Pajitnov, creator of

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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