MSN Launches $50 Million Campaign to Encourage AOL Customers to Switch to MSN

REDMOND, Wash., May 29, 2001 — In the wake of America Online Inc.’s recent rate increase, MSN, the world’s largest consumer network, today launched its first $50 million switcher campaign with nationwide advertisements and a limited-time promotional offer, designed to persuade consumers to drop their AOL service and sign up for MSN® Internet Access. Since AOL’s rate increase announcement last week, MSN call centers have received 50 percent more inquiries from consumers who are looking for an alternative to AOL. Many consumers have already switched from AOL to MSN Internet Access. The nationwide ad campaign and promotion is intended to continue the momentum by offering consumers who switch to MSN by June 30, 2001 three months of free* Internet access as well as a $21.95-per-month rate guarantee until Jan. 1, 2003. That will save them nearly $90 this year compared with the new AOL price.

“Immediately following AOL’s price hike last week, we received thousands of calls from AOL customers looking for an alternative,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN and the Personal Services Business Group at Microsoft Corp.
“While we understand the business need to periodically raise rates, we are providing a special offer for those consumers who are looking for a premium service at an attractive price.”

MSN Internet Access provides consumers with superior service by offering significantly fewer busy signals and faster login times compared with AOL, according to Visual Networks. The ability of MSN to deliver an integrated experience through MSN Explorer, including MSN Hotmail® and MSN Messenger, the world’s most popular Web-based e-mail and messenger services, has allowed the MSN network to become the most visited site on the Web today with 230 million unique users. With the ability to chat with friends, shop, visit favorite Web sites anywhere on the Internet or listen to music, customers who switch to MSN Internet Access will have a premium Internet experience with the services and tools they enjoy.

Consumers can take advantage of the three months of free* Internet access as well as a $21.95-per-month rate guarantee until 2003 by calling (800) FREE MSN (373-3676) or by visiting http://msn.com/ and switching by June 30, 2001. Consumers may also sign up by visiting MSN retail partners to take advantage of other attractive rebate programs.

About MSN

MSN is the world’s most popular destination on the Web, attracting more than 230 million visitors per month. Available in 33 markets and 17 languages, MSN provides consumers with their home on the Web – where they can get everything they need from the Web and make the most of their time online. MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and digital marketing solutions to businesses worldwide. 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.

* Details of Three-Month Trial MSN Internet access dial-up plan with price guarantee: MSN Internet Access is for users of the MSN Companion and Microsoft® Windows® 95 or later operating systems only. In addition, you must subscribe to MSN Internet Access in accordance with its Subscription Agreement to access the service. Offer is only available to new MSN Internet Access members in the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. A major credit card is required. After the trial period and until you cancel your account or select an alternative plan, your credit card will be automatically charged $21.95 per month through January 1, 2003, and thereafter you will automatically be charged the current price for the MSN Standard Unlimited Access Plan. MSN is available only for personal non-commercial use. Additional telephone and/or long distance toll charges may apply. It is the customer’s responsibility to check with their phone company to determine if additional phone charges may apply . Local market network activity and capacity may affect access availability. Offer may not be combined with any other Microsoft offers or rebates. Promotion expires June 30, 2001.

Microsoft, MSN, Hotmail and Windows 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 http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

Related Posts

The New MSN

In a conversation with PressPass, Microsoft group vice president Rick Belluzzo discusses MSN’s new software and integrated services that give users a more satisfying Web experience.