MSN Explorer Rolls Out to More Than 30 Markets Worldwide

REDMOND, Wash., May 20, 2001 — The MSN® network of Internet services, the No. 1 worldwide Internet destination with 230 million unique users, today announced it has started a global rollout of MSN Explorer to bring the unique Internet experience to consumers this year in over 30 markets around the world where MSN has a local presence. The global deployment of this consumer Internet software that combines localized Web services, such as the MSN Hotmail® Web-based e-mail service, MSN Messenger Service and MSN Search, with local content portals makes MSN the first and largest global provider of a free*, integrated experience for consumers on the Web. The international versions of MSN Explorer have been tailored to meet the unique interests and demands of consumers in each market, giving them their favorite local MSN services to search, shop, send and receive instant messages, access e-mail, check local weather and news, and surf through one easy-to-use, personal interface.

Worldwide consumer research conducted by MSN suggests there are nearly as many users bothered by the clutter, inconsistency and impersonal nature of the Web as there are users who are satisfied with its benefits. MSN Explorer is aimed at helping new or frustrated Internet users around the globe get the most out of their time online while feeling comfortable and in control, and also gives them one-click access to the things that they do most. MSN Explorer has been extremely popular in the United States, where more than 6 million consumers have registered and started using the unique
“portal and browser in one”
since its launch last October.

“MSN Explorer will give consumers worldwide an integrated Internet experience that is distinctively different from that of other offerings today,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN.
“Our ability to bring MSN Explorer to more than 30 global markets this year demonstrates why MSN is the leading Internet destination worldwide and continues to deliver value to users and customers alike.”

An Easy, Personal and Exciting New Web Experience

In addition to localizing the product for international markets, the development of MSN Explorer has been guided by three design goals: providing consumers with an easy way to use the Web, personalizing and thus enriching the Web experience, and bringing the Web’s most exciting features together into an integrated interface. Key ease-of-use features include the following:

  • Streamlined setup process and guided tour

  • Automatic sign-in to Web services such as MSN Messenger and MSN Hotmail

  • Unified navigation that provides single-click access to favorite Web-based services, such as online browsing, e-mail, instant messaging, favorites and Internet search

  • Automatic spell check when writing e-mail messages**

  • Roaming favorites and the ability to log on from any location with Internet access

To personalize the Web experience, MSN Explorer makes it simple for users to stay in touch with the people and information they care about most. Key features include the following:

  • Customizable/personalized home page and settings that can be tuned to a user’s preferences

  • Unified notifications that alert users in a friendly, consistent fashion when their instant-messaging contacts come online or when they receive new e-mail or new instant messages

  • Collapsible My Stuff sidebar populated with local market content links that offer one-click access to local information

  • Support for up to nine users, each with their own settings such as favorites, e-mail and instant-messaging buddies

MSN Explorer builds excitement into the online experience by making it convenient for users to take full advantage of some of the Web’s best features and benefits, such as the following:

  • Integrated media player. Users can play and control audio and video files without launching separate applications.

  • The ability to easily share information with others. Users can easily create home pages, photo albums, file cabinets and more using the popular MSN Custom Web Sites feature.

Availability

MSN Explorer has begun an international rollout that will eventually reach all markets with a local MSN service. MSN Explorer Canada is now available in English at http://explorer.msn.ca/ and in French at http://explorer.fr.msn.ca/ . Additional rollout markets include Australia, Austria, Belgium (Dutch), Belgium (French), Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (French), Switzerland (German), Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.***

About MSN

MSN is an integrated network of content and services providing users with a home on the Web — a central place where they can get everything they need from the Web and make the most of their time online. Available in 33 markets and in 17 languages, MSN has become the most popular destination on the Web worldwide, attracting more than 230 million visitors per month. MSN Explorer offers consumers an easy way to experience the Internet and make using the Web more simple and personal. MSN delivers consumers best-of-breed content and services like MSN Messenger Service, MSN Hotmail, MSN Search, MSN Shopping and MSN Custom Web Sites. More information on these services can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ . 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.

* Connect-time and local and long-distance telephone toll charges may apply.

** Microsoft® Office 95 or Microsoft Works 3 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher browser software must be installed.

*** Please ask your local Microsoft press contact for availability information.

Microsoft, MSN and Hotmail 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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