MSN 7 Unveiled to Fulfill Consumers’ Demand For a Faster and More Useful Web

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 15, 2001 — Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corp., and Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN, today announced MSN 7, the innovative new version of the MSN® network of Internet services, which will deliver the most useful Internet experience for people who are excited about the Web. MSN is the most popular portal destination on the World Wide Web and the second most popular Internet service provider (ISP) in the United States, and MSN 7 offers new features and services for consumers visiting the MSN portal and MSN Internet Access subscribers. For consumers visiting the MSN portal, MSN 7 offers a new network and home page design, broadband innovations, significant improvements to the leading services available on MSN, and optimizations for the Microsoft® Windows® XP operating system. MSN also announced the nationwide availability of MSN Broadband and exciting new offers from industry leaders such as Best Buy, Qwest Communications International Inc., Radio Shack Corp. and Staples.

“MSN 7 is exciting because it redefines what people can accomplish on the Internet today, while laying the foundation for future experiences and services through Microsoft .NET,”
said Ballmer.
“And the MSN Broadband offering will deliver the most useful Internet experience available today.”

MSN 7 Delivers the Most Useful Web Experience

MSN 7 is designed to give consumers around the world the most useful Internet experience, with fast access to the power of the Web through innovative products, advanced Web services and content from industry leaders such as ESPN, CNBC, MSNBC, E! Online, Discovery and the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

“More than 270 million people already visit MSN each month, and with the availability of MSN 7, we expect to appeal to many more consumers,”
said Mehdi.
“After seeing MSN 7 during internal studies, more than 90 percent of Internet enthusiasts told us that MSN 7 would make their Web experience more useful. MSN 7 will deliver the most useful Internet experience through a new network and home page design, broadband innovations and significant improvements to leading MSN services.”

MSN 7, which will be available on Oct. 25, introduces many significant innovations, including a new MSN home page that is up to 30 percent faster and makes it easier for people to find the things they want, with the option to personalize a new My MSN page. MSN 7 also offers a broadband showcase page that enables people to easily find broadband-optimized content from MSN and its content partners, including state-of-the-art video and audio delivered through Windows Media™ Player. The popular services of MSN, including MSN Messenger, MSN Search, MSN Hotmail® Web-based e-mail service, have been improved with new features and innovations that make the services more useful. For example, MSN Carpoint® online automotive service, MSN Music and MSN Money support .NET Alerts, which notify consumers about important information, including traffic problems, concert tours and stock updates via their MSN Hotmail account, MSN Messenger or MSN Mobile service. A list of MSN 7 innovations is in the features list at the end of this release.

MSN Broadband Delivers the Best Web Experience

MSN has already established itself as a leading provider of broadband content; more than 22 million broadband users access MSN each month. MSN Broadband has been dramatically improved with exclusive IntelliConnect™ technology from MSN, which enables easy DSL installation, technology updates and line monitoring for optimized performance, reliability, ease of use and extremely fast connectivity. MSN already has 7 million Internet Access subscribers and will extend its MSN Broadband service to more than 29 million households in 45 markets beginning Oct. 25. By the end of the first quarter of 2002, MSN Broadband will be available to more than 90 percent of DSL-capable households in the United States. Several special offers will become available on that date. New MSN Broadband customers will have the option of receiving two months of free* MSN Broadband Internet Access, free activation and a free installation kit, worth a total value of nearly $600.

“MSN is furthering its commitment to deliver broadband to the masses by enabling millions of people to experience the best of the high-speed Internet through advanced technology, nationwide availability and excellent promotional offers,”
said Mehdi.

More information on MSN is available at http://www.msn.com/ . More information on MSN Broadband is available at http://broadband.msn.com/ .

Significant MSN 7 Innovations Features

  • New Network and Home Page Design

    • The new MSN home page is about 30 percent faster, has a new design that makes it easier for consumers to find the things they love and discover new things, and takes personalization to the next level with a new My MSN page.

    • MSN Explorer is improved with support for offline e-mail, streamlined setup, improved navigation and easy MSN Broadband setup.

  • Broadband Innovations

    • IntelliConnect technology. Microsoft’s exclusive broadband connection technology gives consumers optimized performance and reliability. IntelliConnect technology interprets a consumer’s system’s configuration for easy DSL installation, monitors the DSL line and retunes itself and provides technology updates for enhanced performance and reliability.

    • Exclusive broadband software, content and services. MSN provides industry-leading content and services and delivers the exclusive MSN Explorer with integrated Windows Media Player, a broadband showcase page with a wide variety of broadband-optimized content, and extensive broadband content across the network from leading content partners such as MSNBC, ESPN, Rolling Stone, E! Online, Disney, Discovery and many more.

  • Significant Improvements to the Leading Services of MSN

    • MSN Messenger is easier and more fun to use with an updated design, an innovative typing indicator and new emoticons. It gives consumers the ability to create groups of contacts and view contacts online and offline, as well as giving them the ability to make phone calls from a PC from a variety of providers.

    • MSN Search delivers relevant Search results with a new design that organizes results by categories such as Music, Shopping, People or News.

    • MSN Music enables users to receive alerts for artists saved in Favorites on their My Music page. Alerts include album previews and upcoming concert sales from Ticket Master and can be received through e-mail, instant messaging, mobile phone or pager.

    • MSN Carpoint delivers innovative traffic alerts and maps, enables consumers to find the best gas prices, and provides traditional car-buying and maintenance information based on make and model of vehicle.

    • MSN Money provides great tools and content as the centralized place for finance management, including CNBC expert content and new stock ratings.

    • MSN Photos offers full online editing from Web sites in one central location, providing consumers with easy ways to store, edit, manage and print digital photography.

    • MSN Shopping provides comprehensive shopping opportunities with deep comparison-shopping features, power searching abilities, sophisticated tools and extensive content.

    • MSN Hotmail delivers a new junk mail filter and spam protector, as well as strong integration with MSN Messenger that enables consumers to easily check their buddy status in their address book, or quickly send an instant message from their address book.

  • Optimizations for Windows XP

    • MSN Explorer has received the Designed for Windows XP logo, and MSN 7 is optimized for the latest Windows XP innovations, such as fast user switching. MSN Internet Access requires Windows 95 or later. MSN Broadband requires Windows 98 Second Edition or later.

About MSN

MSN attracts more than 270 million unique users worldwide per month. Available in 34 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and digital marketing solutions to businesses worldwide. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com/ . International sites are located at http://www.msn.com/wwcon/intl_map.asp .

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.

* Not available in all areas. Program is only available to new MSN Internet Access subscribers. If for any reason the user’s subscription is terminated after activation and before the user has paid for twelve (12) months of Broadband service, then the user will be charged a termination fee of $150. Special equipment may be required. Actual speeds over DSL lines will vary depending on several factors, including location of the user’s home, computer performance and configuration, network or Internet congestion, Web sites accessed and phone line condition. Speed of service, uninterrupted and error-free service is not guaranteed. Some customers may require professional installation that may be obtained for an extra charge. In addition, the user must agree to the subscriber agreement to access the service. A valid major credit card may be required. If for any reason the user’s subscription is terminated before the user has paid for 24 months of Broadband service, then the user will be required to return the DSL modem provided to the user. If the user does not return the modem, the user will be charged $150 plus applicable taxes. The current price for the unlimited MSN Broadband Internet Access Plan will be automatically charged to the user beginning the third month following the user’s activation date and thereafter until the user cancels the account or selects an alternative plan. User must be 18 years old or older. MSN Broadband Internet Access is available only to users of the Windows 98 or later operating systems. MSN Internet Access is available only for personal, noncommercial use. Offer expires Dec.31, 2001.

Microsoft, MSN, Windows, Windows Media, Hotmail, Carpoint and IntelliConnect 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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