MSN Becomes Top Web Destination Worldwide, With 201 Million Unique Users

REDMOND, Wash., July 17, 2000 — The MSN® network of Internet services, which integrates content and services to help consumers get more from the Web, today announced it has become the No. 1 worldwide Internet destination for consumers. During June 2000, 201 million unique users visited MSN, making it the top Web site worldwide. According to recent Media Metrix reports, MSN reached 55 percent of online consumers in U.S. homes and offices. It grew 19 percent from July 1999 to May 2000, making it one of the fastest growing portals in the industry. During the same period, the comparable reach for Yahoo!® sites increased 7 percent, while that for AOL declined 6 percent.

International markets also have widely adopted MSN as their portal of choice; recent data shows that MSN is the No. 1 site among consumers in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand 1 ; Canada and Sweden 2 ; and Mexico 3 . In addition, MSN Internet Access reached the 3 million-subscriber mark, signing on 800,000 new users in the quarter ending June 2000.

“We are excited by the response from consumers to MSN and believe our growth is a result of our successful delivery of MSN services, such as search, communications and personal finance, that help consumers be more effective on the Web,”
said Rick Belluzzo, group vice president for the Consumer Group at Microsoft Corp.
“Our strategic relationships with industry leaders and the availability of MSN services in 33 markets and 17 languages around the world have also been critical components to MSN becoming the top destination on the Internet.”

To thank its customers, MSN will donate 201 million online ad impressions to charitable causes in the coming months.

Millions of unique users visit the MSN portal every day, and once there they spend a remarkable amount of time: According to Media Metrix reports for May 2000, U.S. home and workplace users spent an average of 94 minutes per month on MSN. One reason for the duration of users’ visits is the quality and breadth of services MSN offers. Services such as the MSN Hotmail® Web-based e-mail service, as well as shopping, chat, search and communities features, provide users with a wide range of options to enrich their online experience and have won numerous accolades from industry experts. Currently there are 67 million users of MSN Hotmail, and Media Metrix reports that during May 2000 more than 19 million people in the United States used MSN Search ( http://www.search.msn.com/ ) to find what they were looking for on the Web.

About MSN

MSN is an integrated network of content and services that help consumers get more from the Web — any time, any place and from any device. MSN is the most popular destination on the Internet, attracting 201 million unique visitors worldwide during June, and is available in 33 markets in 17 languages — a broader global presence than any other portal. MSN Internet Access is the highly rated, fast and reliable way for consumers to get on the Web, now with 3 million subscribers. MSN delivers the Everyday Web experience by providing more than just the basics for new Internet users, with benefits for more advanced users looking for richer functionality. Best-of-breed services include MSN Hotmail, the world’s largest e-mail system, with more than 67 million active accounts; MSN Messenger Service, the fastest-growing instant messaging service, with more than 18 million users; MSN Search, the second most popular search service on the Web; MSN Mobile, the customizable wireless information service; the award-winning MSN MoneyCentral™
online personal finance service; MSN eShop, the one-stop online shopping resource; MSN Custom Web Sites, the easy way to share information on the Web; and many other widely used services that make MSN a leading innovator of Internet technologies. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com/ .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) 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.

1 Source: Nielsen//NetRatings

2 Source: Media Metrix

3 Source: MSN

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

Yahoo! is a registered trademark of Yahoo! Inc.

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

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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