Latest Nielsen//NetRatings Data Shows Windows Media Content Usage Grew Nearly Four Times More Than RealNetworks’ Since July

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 13, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that the Microsoft® Windows Media™
Format has gained significant momentum during the past five months, according to data from Nielsen//NetRatings’ November study of streaming Web users in the home. This new data underscores the growing popularity for Windows Media-formatted audio and video content on the Web. Nielsen//NetRatings’ findings show that the number of U.S. Web users streaming audio and video in the Windows Media Format grew by 21 percent, or 2.3 million users, while the number of users streaming content in Real Format grew by 2 percent, or 600,000 users. In addition, this new data shows that 38 percent of the 35 million streaming audio and video users in the United States are now using the Windows Media Format.

“Our latest research since July 2000 shows that the number of audio and video users streaming in the Windows Media Format grew by 3.7 times more than its next largest competitor,”
said T.S. Kelly, director of Internet Media Strategies at NetRatings.

Latest Format Usage Data Courtesy of Nielsen//NetRatings, November 2000

July 2000 November 2000 Total Additional Users User Growth

Windows Media 10.9 million users 13.2 million users 2.3 million 20.7%

Real 27.1 million users 27.7 million users .6 million 2.3%

Apple QT 8.1 million users 7.9 million users -.2 million -2.5%

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, November 2000

This momentum also has extended to Nielsen//NetRatings found that the unique users visiting grew by nearly 22 percent, or 7.8 million unique visitors, per month since July, while RealNetworks’ ( ) showed no growth in the number of its 4.4 million unique users during the same period. These figures reflect the growing popularity of content in the Windows Media Format, and demonstrate that continues to be the most popular audio and video guide on the Web.

The new usage data follows on the heels of a study by Millward Brown released last week, which found that three out of four consumers surveyed preferred Windows Media Player 7 to RealPlayer 8 and RealJukebox 8, primarily citing the greater ease of use of Windows Media Player 7.

“Last week consumers told us they preferred Windows Media Player 7 over the competition,” said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows® Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
“Today the results from Nielsen//NetRatings confirm that more new users are streaming the Windows Media Format and that it is the fastest-growing format on the Internet.”

About Windows Media

Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, providing unmatched audio and video quality to consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations. Windows Media offers the industry’s only integrated rights-management solution and the most scalable and reliable streaming technology tested by independent labs. Windows Media Technologies includes Windows Media Player for consumers, Windows Media Services for servers, Windows Media Tools for content creation and the Windows Media Software Development Kit (SDK) for software developers. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is the fastest-growing media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at .

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, Windows Media and Windows 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.

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