Microsoft and Franklin Electronic Publishers Bring Microsoft Reader To Franklin’s eBookman

Franklin.com to Become Authorized Microsoft Bookstore

REDMOND, Wash., and BURLINGTON, N. J., June 27, 2000 — Franklin Electronic Publishers Inc. (NYSE: FEP), a worldwide provider of handheld reading devices, and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq
“MSFT” ) today announced that the two companies will work together to incorporate Microsoft®
Reader into Franklin’s new line of next-generation multimedia eBook devices.

Franklin and Microsoft are collaborating on a version of Microsoft Reader for all models of Franklin’s new eBookman, a line of multimedia reading devices introduced today at PC EXPO 2000 in New York City. Based on Franklin’s proprietary RISC processor, eBookman will offer a powerful platform for purchasing and reading eBooks created for Microsoft Reader. The eBookman will provide the portability and ease of use of all eBooks offered for Microsoft Reader, including audio books from Audible Inc.

The relationship between Microsoft and Franklin will also establish Franklin’s Web site, http://www.franklin.com/ , as an authorized Microsoft Bookstore, allowing eBookman owners to purchase content in Microsoft Reader format directly from Franklin as well as from other Internet e-booksellers.

With a 240 x 200 pixel LCD display — significantly larger than typical handheld devices — and capabilities to ensure the highest levels of security, the eBookman is designed for an optimal eBook reading experience. Scheduled for retail availability this fall, the eBookman will also include a robust feature set including multimedia functionality.

Microsoft Reader currently ships with the Pocket PC and is scheduled to be available for other platforms later this summer.

Barry Lipsky, president and CEO of Franklin, said,
“The addition of Microsoft to our growing list of partners puts our new entry in the eBook industry in an enviable spot. We feel confident that content providers will appreciate the advantages of the eBookman and Microsoft Reader and that they will align with us to reach out to an expanding audience for eBooks around the world.”

Dick Brass, vice president of Microsoft, said,
“The new line of eBookman devices is exciting news for book lovers. The combination of Microsoft Reader, with its unique readability enhancements and powerful security options, and Franklin’s reputation for leadership and quality in electronic publishing, will help make eBooks a reality for many readers. Microsoft’s vision for eBooks has been to provide consumers with the widest possible range of choices in reading devices, and the eBookman’s display size, portability and value make it an excellent option.”

“This collaboration is great for consumers,”
said Peter N. Yianilos, Ph.D., acting chief technology officer and architect of the eBookman effort for Franklin.
“It is also a big step forward for compatibility and interoperability in the eBook world.”

About Franklin Electronic Publishers

Franklin Electronic Publishers is the worldwide market leader in handheld eBooks, including the popular BOOKMAN® series. The company is also the exclusive producer and distributor of ROLODEX® Electronics brand of personal information management products. Franklin has sold more than 22 million electronic books and currently publishes more than 200 titles, including dictionaries and bilingual dictionaries; encyclopedias; Bibles; entertainment titles; education and tutorial publications; and medical reference works. Franklin products, available in 16 languages, are sold in 45,000 retail outlets worldwide, through catalogs and online at http://www.franklin.com/ . The company has sales and distribution subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Benelux countries, Canada, Australia and Mexico, and production management offices in Tokyo and Hong Kong.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft 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 is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Franklin, BOOKMAN and eBookman are trademarks of Franklin Electronic Publishers.

ROLODEX® is a registered trademark of Berol Corp., a subsidiary of Newell Rubbermaid Inc.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed throughout this release, including, but not limited to, those that are stated as Franklin’s belief or expectation or preceded by the word
“should”
are forward-looking statements that involve risks to and uncertainties in Franklin’s business, including, among other things, the timely availability and acceptance of new electronic reference products, organizers, and computer companion products, changes in technology, the impact of competitive electronic products, the management of inventories, Franklin’s dependence on third-party component suppliers and manufacturers, including those that provide Franklin-specific parts, and other risks and uncertainties that may be detailed from time to time in Franklin’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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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