MSN Hotmail Tops 100 Million User Milestone

REDMOND, Wash., May 14, 2001 — The MSN® network of Internet services, the world’s leading consumer network with over 230 million unique users, today announced that record numbers of consumers are using MSN communication services, making it a leading worldwide provider of communications technologies on the Web. The MSN Hotmail® service, the world’s largest Web-based e-mail service, now has over 100 million users worldwide, and more than half are choosing it as their primary e-mail source. In addition, the latest data released by Jupiter Media Metrix Inc. show that MSN Messenger Service grew to more than 31.9 million unique users worldwide during the month of March, 1 strengthening its lead as the world’s single-most-used free instant messaging service. MSN Messenger is available in 26 languages, 2 and MSN Hotmail is available in 10 3 languages. Both services are used in nearly every country.

Key growth highlights for both MSN Messenger and MSN Hotmail include the following:

  • MSN Messenger added nearly 2 million users from February to March according to Jupiter Media Metrix data.

  • MSN Messenger is now the No. 1 instant messaging service in Australia, as well as the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Japan, according to Jupiter Media Metrix. 4

  • MSN Messenger users in Brazil grew by 29 percent and users in Spain grew by 18 percent during the month of March, according to Jupiter Media Metrix data.

  • Nearly 8 million MSN Hotmail users are using MSN Hotmail in Spanish.

  • MSN Hotmail has grown tenfold since Microsoft acquired the service in 1997.

“The power of attracting 230 million users each month puts MSN in the driver’s seat to be the leading provider of consumer Web communication services today,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN.
“As the global growth of MSN continues, we are excited to both bring great content and services to consumers worldwide, and to deliver to advertising customers a global network that reaches the largest online consumer audience in the world.”

MSN Hotmail is an Internet communication service favored by travelers, students, professionals and retirees who use it to keep in touch with friends and family from Internet cafes, home or work. MSN Hotmail alone is a primary e-mail address for millions of people worldwide. In March, over 80 million users checked their MSN Hotmail account at least once – that’s more than the number of baggage items that pass annually through the world’s busiest airport, London Heathrow.

Building on the tremendous growth in MSN Messenger and MSN Hotmail, MSN has made infrastructure investments for added capacity and reliability, and technology improvements to provide a high-quality consumer experience. For example, users can filter unsolicited e-mail by enabling the MSN Hotmail Inbox Protector, which filters junk e-mail.

New Promotions for Consumers Will Help Spur Additional Growth

MSN Messenger Service is starting a new promotional program in the United States, 5 aimed at encouraging more consumers to use the free service. The promotional sweepstakes gives away daily prizes including dream getaways for users and their friends, and offers users the chance to get a winning Instant Message by downloading MSN Messenger; adding five buddies; using MSN Messenger daily from 4 to 5 p.m. PDT; and responding within 10 minutes to claim their prize if they receive an Instant Message winner notification. In addition to daily prizes for *NSYNC T-shirts, gift certificates for and autographed NASCAR clothing, three grand prizes include all-expense-paid trips to the following:

  • New Orleans to attend an *NSYNC concert and meet the band

  • New York City to tour Martha Stewart studios and see a Broadway show

  • Indianapolis to see the Brickyard 400

MSN France is also running a buddy referral program in which MSN Messenger users can refer new users and win prizes from, while MSN UK has been inviting users to
“Have a Break, Have a KitKat”
in a joint promotion with Nestle SA.

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. 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 . More information can be found on the Microsoft Web site 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.

1. According to an aggregation of unique users from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, Canada, Spain, Brazil, Italy, Argentina and Switzerland for March 2001.

2. MSN Messenger is available in 26 languages, including Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Portuguese (Standard), Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.

3. MSN Hotmail is available in 10 languages, including Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Spanish.

4. Custom category as defined by Microsoft. Includes AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, MSN Messenger Service and Yahoo! Messenger.

5. No purchase necessary. Games end June 29, 2001. *NSYNC concert location subject to change based on availability. Eligibility requirements vary by game; see full rules on Web site for details.

Microsoft, MSN, Hotmail and MoneyCentral 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 site at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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