Microsoft’s Premieres Pilot Episode of Online Game Show

REDMOND, Wash., May 17, 2001 — Imagine their surprise when your co-workers hear Jessica Alba’s voice in your cubicle. What they don’t know is that you’re on Microsoft Corp.’s Combining the popularity of game shows, the interactivity of the Internet and America’s fascination with celebrities, the Zone today launched
a free* interactive celebrity-based trivia game that incorporates real celebrity audio into gameplay. For the first time players can compete against their favorite stars to prove they know more about a celebrity than the celebrities know about themselves.
is available exclusively at ( )

The pilot episode features actress Jessica Alba, who stars on the hit Fox series,
“Dark Angel,”
and is one of the celebrities most frequently searched for on the Internet. Alba begins the game by chatting with
host Tim Parker about upcoming projects before competing with online challengers to answer questions about
“Dark Angel,”
the series’ creator James Cameron, and — among other things — how her character, Max, is linked to Morris the Cat. will begin unveiling new
games and celebrity challengers in June. Games will be posted twice a month, with previous games always available to play in the

“I’m psyched about being involved in the ‘OutSmart’ pilot,”
Alba said.
“The game is totally cool and it gives my fans a chance to really interact with me online.”

To play, fans simply log on to ( ) and click on
No registration is required to play; however, fans can show off their smarts on the Zone’s High Score Listing or challenge a friend to beat their score.

“It is part of our culture to be fascinated with the day’s popular celebrities,”
said Chris Di Cesare, group product manager for Online Games and executive producer of
at Microsoft.
“‘OutSmart’ gives fans a new way to interact with their favorite stars by merging the fascination with celebrity lifestyles with the competition of a game show and the interactivity of the Web.”

The game starts with Tim Parker,
host, making quick player introductions and catching up on the latest Hollywood gossip. Online contestants and the celebrity challenger then begin the game, a series of multiple-choice questions related to the celebrity’s career. Celebrity confidence can sometimes fool contestants, but the stars don’t always know the correct answer. Players who believe the celebrity’s response is wrong can attempt an OutSmart, and gain extra points by providing the correct answer. Incorrect answers usually trigger a little ribbing from the star.

also tests players’ speed and knowledge about entertainment, music and pop culture history with an electronic version of six degrees of celebrity separation. Correct answers connect the celebrity to another well-known cultural icon in six moves.
technology enables celebrities’ and host’s audio sound bite responses – from cheers to jeers — to vary based on the input provided by online players throughout the game.

Developed for Microsoft by Jellyvision Inc.,
accompanies the Zone’s updated look and feel, fueled by the overwhelming popularity of recent casual, single-player game additions to the Zone. Currently ranked as one of the Web’s favorite online gaming sites, the Zone has more than 18 million members and thousands of Internet visitors daily, many of which are looking for quick and easy access to free* games online. Innovative new games such as
and the site’s revamped design demonstrate the Zone’s continued leadership in the online gaming industry.

About ( ) is the largest multiplayer gaming site on the Internet, with 18 million registered members around the world, more than 123,000 concurrent users at peak times, and in excess of 130 games available for play. The Zone offers free* membership and a wide variety of games, including card, board and puzzle games, free* matchmaking for popular CD-ROM games, and premium games. In addition, the Zone offers its members expanded gaming services such as industry news, product reviews, downloadable demos and online shopping.

About the Microsoft Games Division

Microsoft’s Games Division is a leading worldwide games company with three core businesses: games development and publishing, the Microsoft® Xbox™
video game system and The company’s award-winning PC game titles excite the imaginations of casual gamers and appeal to the passions of hard-core players. Xbox, the video game system, is a future-generation platform that inspires developers to create better games, faster. ( ) is the Internet’s largest game site.

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.

* Connect-time charges may apply.

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The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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