MSN Reaches $3.6 Billion in Online Holiday Shopping And Tops 4 Million Subscribers

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 3, 2001 — MSN today announced unprecedented momentum in extending its best-of-breed services to the broadest set of consumers ever. MSN® Internet Access saw unparalleled success as its U.S. subscriber base topped the 4 million mark this past quarter. In addition, MSN users spent an estimated $3.6 billion online during the fourth quarter, marking the value MSN offers consumers when shopping online. Heightened activity surrounding MSN can also be credited to the U.S. launch in October of the new MSN Explorer, which brings together best-of-breed MSN services into one place on the Web. Since October, more than 3.5 million consumers have downloaded and used MSN Explorer to deliver a single integrated experience that helps them get more from the Web.

“We are delighted with the consumer response to MSN in 2000,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN.
“We had a record year in virtually every area of our business culminating with MSN becoming the most popular destination on the Internet for consumers looking to find a home on the Web. With great new innovations such as MSN Explorer, we are very bullish about what we can deliver for consumers in 2001.”

Home to more than 230 million unique monthly visitors, MSN continues to make daily strides by extending its best-of-breed services to the broadest set of consumers through continued innovation and strategic relationships. MSN continues to register successes in the following areas:

  • MSN eShop recently celebrated its most successful online holiday shopping season, which has continued into the new year. Consumers are turning to MSN eShop’s Bargain Center to find great post-holiday deals and ring in the new year with help from the site’s New Year’s Guide to Resolutions. In 2000, MSN eShop had five times as many consumers clicking through to merchants in the week following Christmas compared to the same period in 1999. This momentum shows that MSN eShop is providing great resources for consumers to find what they are looking for and working with great merchants that consumers know and trust.

  • More than 86 million active users communicate with friends and family across the globe using the MSN Hotmail® service, the world’s largest Web-based e-mail service. During 1999 alone, the number of active MSN Hotmail users grew more than 50 percent. Available in 10 languages, Hotmail continues to grow around the world.

  • The award-winning MSN MoneyCentral™
    online financial service increased its number of users by nearly 100 percent in 12 months, bringing the total number of unique monthly users to 11 million.

  • MSN Mobile, the wireless link to the most relevant information on the Web from MSN, is now delivering content and services to more than 2.6 million users.

  • MSN launched three MSN Companion devices this year with Compaq Computer Corp. and eMachines Inc., enabling a truly easy and personalized Internet experience for new users.

Over ten million music fans also came running to MSN in 2000 when it hosted the largest webcast in history, featuring Madonna live from London. With the integrated Microsoft® Windows Media™
Player in MSN Explorer, fans were able to surf the Web and listen to the music event that was
“heard around the world,”
all at the same time. More music madness and key alliances highlight the successes for MSN in the year 2000:

  • MSN and *NSYNC teamed up to introduce *NSYNC@MSNInternet Access, which offers exclusive, customized versions of MSN services and a place where *NYSNC fans can come together to share their love for music and the latest scoop on the guys in the band.

  • Microsoft Internet Centers at RadioShack represent an alliance that establishes a Microsoft
    “store within a store”
    in as many as 7,000 RadioShack locations, so that consumers can personally experience the power of the Internet, broadband connectivity and home networking, and speak with trained sales associates who can help them choose the right solutions for them.

  • The new MSN Kids channel gives kids a home of their own on the Web. With premier content from the Walt Disney Internet Group, Nickelodeon and Discovery.com, MSN offers content for all ages on the MSN Kids Channel and brings learning and fun right to the home.

  • Dell Computer Corp. and MSN worked together to create DellNet by MSN, a new and fully customized Internet access service that is included for one full year with the purchase of all new Dell consumer PCs.

  • MSN and Best Buy joined forces as the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing and the nation’s largest digital technology retailer. Under the alliance, MSN Internet Access and Microsoft’s full range of connectivity solutions will be demonstrated and sold at the more than 350 Best Buy stores in the United States and through BestBuy.com.

  • H & R Block, Musicland Stores Corp. and Electronics Boutique each joined forces with MSN to bring significant rebates to consumers at retail outlets when they sign up for MSN Internet Access.

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 of their time online. With more than
230 million visitors per month, 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 quick, 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; MSN Mobile, the customizable wireless information service; the award-winning

MSN MoneyCentral online personal finance guide; MSN eShop, 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.

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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