MSN Strengthens Its Position as Global Internet Leader

REDMOND, Wash., July 26, 2001 — The MSN® network, the leading online consumer network in the world, today announced that it continues to show significant and steady gains, including an increase in the number of unique users worldwide, expanded reach in key international markets, solid advertising revenue gains through key digital marketing relationships, and market share growth in Internet access in the United States.

The milestones for MSN include the following:

  • 250 million unique users worldwide per month

  • No. 1 most-visited site in 11 countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom

  • 6.5 million MSN Internet Access subscribers in the United States

  • Surpassing Yahoo! in advertising revenue for the first time

“MSN had a terrific quarter in which we passed several milestones, surpassing 250 million unique users worldwide and reaching 6.5 million MSN Internet Access subscribers,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN.
“Passing Yahoo!’s quarterly advertising revenue numbers for the first time is a significant achievement for MSN and underscores our commitment and ability to provide innovative digital marketing solutions for our customers.”

MSN Making Waves Overseas

MSN continues its march as a global leader, further building strong momentum as the world’s most popular destination on the Web. Attracting more than 250 million visitors worldwide per month in 33 markets and 17 languages, MSN continues as the most visited online network in Europe and recently moved into a leadership position in Spain, passing Terra Lycos. The latest June 2001 data released by Jupiter Media Metrix Inc. and Nielsen/NetRatings indicates that MSN is now the most visited site in the following 11 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. MSN Explorer, which will be rolled out to more than 30 international markets this year, has already launched and is now available in 11 countries and in eight languages.

Milestones Reached

In addition to its international growth, MSN has increased its Internet Access numbers and now has more than 6.5 million Internet access subscribers in the United States.
“Since we launched a focused AOL switching campaign, we have seen increased interest in customers leaving their old ISP to come to MSN. As we continue to roll out enhanced services and software, we will remain focused on the needs and desires of both consumers and businesses to help them get the most out of their online experience,”
said Mehdi.

MSN is also showing significant growth in worldwide advertising revenue. Spurred by the addition of marketing relationships with key customers, MSN worldwide advertising revenue reached a milestone in this past quarter, surpassing the revenue figures reported by Yahoo! for the first time. MSN attributes this success to the development of customized digital marketing programs including innovative technology and industry-leading services with key companies such as Qwest Communications International Inc., United Air Lines Corp. and Unilever and a more than 70 percent retention rate with advertisers. In addition, in the past few months MSN announced several exciting new relationships, including the newly merged MSN MoneyCentral™
online personal finance service site with CNBC.com; the acquisition of Yupi Internet Inc. to form Yupi/MSN, http://www.yupimsn.com/ , a Spanish-language portal for the U.S. Hispanic market; and a new joint agreement with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games for MSNBC.com and MSN to host and distribute its official Web sites.

About MSN

MSN is the world’s most popular destination on the Web, attracting more than 250 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.

Microsoft, MSN 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 page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages

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