MSN Delivers Beta of New Online Music Service

REDMOND, Wash., April 3, 2001 — The MSN® network of Internet services, the leading consumer network in the world, today announced the public U.S. beta version of MSN Music, a unique listening experience available at . As part of the MSN strategy to offer its 230 million unique users industry-leading services, MSN Music delivers a free,* easy way for music consumers to search for, listen to and discover music they like, whether their tastes include pop, rock, hip-hop or any of the more than 100 other styles offered on the service.

Combining technology and music expertise, the first beta release of MSN Music delivers unique tools to locate, listen to and learn about music and the artists who produce it. Using MSN Music’s
search technology, customers can easily discover new music and listen to near-CD-quality stations featuring artists, songs or albums similar to their favorites as well as based on their mood. Results are dynamically programmed based on a combination of machine-based programming and human input from MSN musicologists, known as
who are experts in all styles of music. With more than 1 million stations representing 20 music styles and over 100 preprogrammed substyles, all music enthusiasts can simply navigate and tailor MSN Music to meet their listening needs.

“MSN Music delivers the widest variety of music online today. Whether consumers are into alternative or zydeco, they can listen to and find information from their favorite artists as well as discover new musicians through our unique sounds-like search technology,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN.
“In the future, we will build on this solid foundation by offering new options and features such as personalized content and subscription services that will make MSN the ultimate online destination for consumers’ music needs.”

MSN Music will be promoted throughout the MSN network of integrated content and services. The 230 million unique users coming to the network per month are proof of the ability of MSN to provide consumers with what they want. That user base and the strong MSN heritage position MSN well to meet the needs of not only consumers searching for a great experience, but also labels and artists wanting their work to reach the masses through a secure, compelling forum.

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 network. MSN takes advantage of the Microsoft® .NET platform to offer leading services, any time, any place and on any device, with an 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 Web-based 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 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 .

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.

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