MSN World’s Most Popular Web Destination,

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 11, 2001 — The MSN® Internet service today announced that the latest data from Jupiter Media Metrix shows that MSN is the top service provider for search with more than 32 million unique users in the United States, as well as the No. 1 provider on the worldwide Web for e-mail, portal shopping, sports, news and automotive buying services.* Around the world, more than 270 million people visited MSN in September for the best content and services, making it the worlds most popular Web destination. As a result, MSN continues to see significant growth: Since August 2000 in the Unites States, MSN Search and the MSN Hotmail® Web-based e-mail service have each grown nearly 50 percent in terms of unique users, and MSN eShops unique users have grown more than 60 percent, taking the lead in their categories.* Other MSN services are also surpassing competitors in key categories because they make everyday tasks such as shopping for the holidays, automotive buying and researching, communicating with family and friends, reading the news, and searching the Web easy and fun.

“MSN claimed the No. 1 worldwide Web destination ranking over a year ago, and we have continued to build best-of-breed services that are not just easy or widely available, but incredibly useful services that people rely on every day,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN.
“The growing popularity of our services such as communications, search and shopping is proof that consumers recognize the value of MSN. In particular, that consumers are using MSN Search over Yahoo!, one of the pioneers in Web directories, is a great affirmation of our strategy and focus.”

For August 2001, the Jupiter Media Metrix data highlights that more people around the world are using MSN for many of their online activities. For the United States and a majority of international markets, MSN leads the way for many online services, communications and content including the following:

Top Provider for Leading Services

  • In the United States, MSN Search is now the leader in search, with more than 32 million unique users compared to Yahoo! Searchs 29 million users, and has grown 48 percent since August 2000.* MSN Search has grown in popularity due to innovations and enhancements that deliver excellent search results through easy refinement of ambiguous searches from Popular Search Topics; in depth results, images and links for content such as music artists and encyclopedia content; and automatic spelling correction.

  • Consumers are spending more time on MSN than Yahoo! in the United States, including total number of days and minutes online.**

  • There have been more than 14 million downloads worldwide of MSN Explorer since its launch in October 2000, and MSN Explorer is now shipping in 31 markets and 14 languages worldwide.

  • MSN eShop is the top shopping portal in the United States, with 65 percent growth since August 2000.*

  • MSN Mobile has nearly 5 million unique users and is available on more Web-enabled phones in the United States and Canada than any other major portal.

Most Popular Communication Services Worldwide

  • More than 42 million people worldwide have chosen MSN Messenger Service for instant communication, making it the most popular service in 10 of the 13 markets tracked.***

  • MSN Hotmail is the No. 1 e-mail service in the world*** and has more than 118 million accounts.

No. 1 Content Provider

  • As the No. 1 ranked Automotive Buying site, the Carpoint® online automotive service on MSN has seen a 25 percent growth rate in unique users since August 2000.**

  • MSN offers exclusive content from the No. 1 news channel, MSNBC.**

  • MSN is proud to offer sports fans exclusive content from the No. 1 sports site, ESPN.**

In addition, MSN has significantly increased its Internet Access subscriber base, now numbering 6.9 million. As MSN 7 rolls out this fall, consumers looking for a more useful and appealing alternative can continue to take advantage of a special MSN Internet Access offer.

Through the extended promotion, MSN offers new customers three months of MSN Internet Access free**** of charge as well as a $21.95-per-month rate guarantee until Jan. 1, 2003. Customers can take advantage of this limited-time offer by going to or by calling (800) FREE-MSN to sign up.

About MSN

MSN attracts more than 270 million visitors per month. Available in 34 markets and 18 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 .

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.

* Source: Jupiter Media Metrix, August 2001. Custom category as defined by Microsoft. (United States only)

** Source: Jupiter Media Metrix, August 2001: Digital Media Report

*** Source: Jupiter Media Metrix, August 2001: Data is an aggregation of unique visitors from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, Canada, Spain, Brazil, Italy and Switzerland.

****MSN Internet Access is for users of the MSN Companion and Microsoft Windows® 95 or later operating systems only. In addition, users 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 subscribers cancel their account or select an alternative plan, their credit card will be automatically charged $21.95 per month through Jan. 1, 2003, and thereafter they will automatically be charged the current price for the MSN Standard Unlimited Access Plan. MSN is available only for personal noncommercial use. Additional telephone and/or long-distance toll charges may apply. It is the customers 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. Limited-time offer.

Microsoft, MSN, Hotmail, Carpoint 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 on Microsofts corporate information pages.

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