MSN — Make It Your Home

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 25, 2000 — Today Microsoft Corp. unveiled a brand-new MSN® , giving consumers a new home on the Web. The updated MSN includes the new MSN Explorer, which provides the easiest way for consumers to get on the Internet and makes using the Web more simple and personal. Also announced were updates to virtually all the MSN services and new industry relationships that will continue to bring the best of the Web to consumers. MSN has become an easier way for consumers to get online, and it provides a unique Web experience that gives them more from their time online. With more than 210 million unique users per month, MSN is now the preferred choice for consumers.

“Building on top of our already great services, today marks the crescendo of everything that we’ve been working toward with MSN,”
said Rick Belluzzo, group vice president of the personal services and devices group at Microsoft.
“Now that we have an integrated service, a strong access offering and an incredible lineup of strategic relationships, our best days are ahead of us.”

Microsoft’s Unique Strength in Software Development Has Allowed the New MSN To Offer Consumers a Unique and Exciting Way to Experience the Web

Today MSN launches the all-new MSN Explorer. By combining the best of MSN content and services, including the MSN Hotmail® Web-based e-mail service, the MSN MoneyCentral™ online personal finance service, MSN Shopping and MSN Search with the best of Microsoft’s Internet software like Internet Explorer, MSN Messenger and Windows Media™
Player, the new MSN Explorer provides a single integrated experience that helps consumers get more from the Web. For both new and experienced Web users who find the Internet is not living up to their expectations, MSN Explorer provides an easier way to get on the Internet and makes using the Web more simple and personal. MSN Explorer works the way users prefer to work — from a single logon procedure for all MSN services to deep integration across the network that allows the services to work together (e.g., compose an e-mail message, shop or find music on the Web, all from MSN Search). With the strong MSN Internet access offering, available in standard dial-up or the recently announced MSN HighSpeed service, MSN delivers a more complete experience for consumers than other ISPs or standalone portals.

“I am on the Internet all day and am interested in ways to make my time online better, faster and easier — that’s why I downloaded the new MSN Explorer,”
said Fernanda Martinez of Tucson, Ariz., a 23-year-old research assistant in clinical psychology.
“From the download to the guided tour to the look and feel of the new home page, everything is thought out and organized, making MSN so easy to use and so simple to understand that it allows me to focus on what I want to get out of the Web.”

MSN Makes Significant Updates to Core Services

With updates to award-winning services like MSN Search, MSN Shopping and MSN MoneyCentral, MSN adds even more power without sacrificing ease of use. Here are some examples:

  • MSN Search makes it easier to get useful, relevant results with fewer clicks. One easy search query delivers results for the top online sites, news of the day, MSN Shopping merchants and yellow pages, all in one organized place. Rich music queries featuring content from windowsmedia.com and, in the future, the MSN Music Channel, are integrated into the new MSN Search, so users can easily search for and listen to music from their favorite artists as well as shop for CDs and other merchandise.

  • MSN Shopping features integrated shopping services such as a bargain center that offers a central location for sales and great deals from MSN merchants and price comparisons with the best prices found across the Web. With buyers guides, local yellow pages, gift finders, gift certificates, a list of My Saved Items and MSN Auctions, MSN Shopping offers one of the best online shopping experiences available on the Web today.

  • MSN MoneyCentral includes Portfolio Manager, a sophisticated tracker with an integrated news tab that makes it easy to follow developments from various companies; My MoneyCentral, where users can view all their financial information in one place; alerts through MSN Messenger, which indicate market and stock changes.

MSN Is Forging Relationships With the Right Industry Leaders to Bring Even More Great Content and Services to Consumers

In keeping with its strategic direction, MSN is continuing to build relationships with premier name brands to deliver consumers the best of the Web. More and more industry-leading companies are choosing to work with MSN and, as a result, more consumers are making MSN their home. Through alliances with leading consumer brands like Disney and Discovery, MSN is taking special care to develop unique content for children, making MSN a comprehensive destination that people of all ages can count on for complete content and high-quality services. Relationships with top retailers and OEMs such as RadioShack Corp., Best Buy and Compaq Computer Corp., help extend the network to the broadest set of consumers ever, making it even easier for consumers to get online with great customer service and a unique end-to-end experience that only MSN can provide. Trained experts are available to help educate consumers about MSN services, totaling 40,000 salespeople in 10,000 retail stores.

New relationships with leaders in their categories, such as H & R Block, Electronics Boutique and Musicland Stores Corp., coupled with the network’s continued efforts to offer consumers compelling reasons to choose MSN, such as $400 rebate offers, make MSN their best choice for getting online. MSN is continuing to grow among users, with strong new alliances and even more great services on the horizon.

Now Is the Best Time Ever for Consumers to Make MSN Their Home on the Web

Microsoft will be bringing the new MSN directly to consumers in a 16-city* road show that will include colorful
“B-Fly Bladers”
and an online promotion that will offer great prizes to people** who download MSN Explorer ( http://explorer.msn.com/ ), including 10 grand prizes of $10,000 each for home technology renovations. To support the launch of the new MSN, Microsoft is putting unprecedented commitment behind the network by launching a new consumer-focused global brand campaign, with the goal of making MSN the No. 1 Internet brand in the world. The effort is led by a $150 million global advertising campaign that highlights the ease of use and benefits to consumers of the rich Internet services and content available from MSN.

MSN Continues to Break New Ground in the Online World

Today’s launch of MSN Explorer is the network’s latest addition to its rapidly growing list of achievements, which includes the following:

  • More than 1 million users of the MSN Explorer preview version indicate a huge demand for a simple and integrated Web experience.

  • The recently unveiled MSN HighSpeed service marked the first nationwide broadband offering available to consumers from a major portal.

  • Earlier this fall, MSN became the first major portal to bring consumers an Internet appliance with its release of the MSN Companion.

  • MSN was the first portal to offer consumers free*** long-distance dialing anywhere in the United States and Canada through recent updates to its MSN Messenger service.

  • Relationships with the top-three carriers in both the United States and Canada have made MSN Mobile the most broadly available wireless Web service.

About MSN

MSN gives consumers a new home on the Internet — a central place where they can get everything they need from the Web and make the most out of their time online. With more than 210 million visitors in September, the MSN integrated network of content and services is the most popular destination on the Internet. MSN is available in 33 markets and in 17 languages — a broader global presence than any other portal. MSN takes advantage of the Microsoft® .NET platform to offer leading services, any time, any place and on any device, with the most integrated and personalized user experience for communications, search, shopping, personal finance and entertainment. MSN Internet Access and the recently introduced MSN Explorer offer the quickest, most personal and exciting ways to get on to and take advantage of the Web. Best-of-breed services include the MSN Hotmail Web-based e-mail service, the world’s largest e-mail system; MSN Messenger Service, one of the fastest growing instant messaging services on the Web; MSN Search, the second most popular online search service; MSN Mobile, the customizable wireless information service; the award-winning MSN MoneyCentral online personal finance guide; MSN Shopping, the one-stop online shopping resource; and MSN Custom Web Sites, the easy way to share information on the Web. 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.

*MSN will be in 16 markets on Oct. 25: Atlanta, Ga.; Boston, Mass.; Chicago, Ill.; Denver, Colo.; Detroit, Mich.; Fort Worth, Texas; Houston, Texas; Los Angeles, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.; New York, N.Y.; Philadelphia, Pa.; San Diego, Calif.; San Francisco, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; and Washington, D.C.

** No purchase necessary. Game ends Nov. 22, 2000. Open to legal U.S. residents 18 years of age or older. For full rules, see site.

*** Calls placed using Messenger Service 3.0 or 3.5 are free when made from a computer to a computer or when made from a computer to a telephone or a mobile device in the 50 United States, District of Columbia and Canada. To place calls from a computer to a telephone or mobile device outside of the50 United States, District of Columbia and Canada, the user must have a prepaid Net2Phone account; all fees for such calls will be deducted from this account by Net2Phone. However, users should note that any standard telephone charges and connect-time charges normally paid for their Internet service provider (ISP), telephone, cell phone or mobile device service will still apply when placing calls with Messenger. Certain country restrictions also apply; void where prohibited by law. Internet calls are regulated and blocked by law in certain countries. Requires an MSN, Passport or Hotmail account; a multimedia computer; a 28.8Kbps modem; a sound card; speakers; a microphone; and Internet access. Voice transmission services are made available to users of MSN Messenger Service 3.0 and 3.5 by Net2Phone. Subject to change without notice.

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

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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