PricewaterhouseCoopers Audit Confirms That More Than 300 Million Unique Users Worldwide Visit MSN

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 4, 2002 — Leading up to the launch of MSN®
8, MSN today announced the results of an audit conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, which verified the number of unique users worldwide of the MSN network of Internet services. From Feb. 1, 2002, to May 31, 2002, MSN drew more than 300 million monthly unique users worldwide. This audit subjected MSN to a series of rigorous inspections verifying compliance with the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s measurement guidelines relating to the definition and method of measuring unique users.

“It’s significant for MSN to be able to report numbers that have been validated by a highly respected firm such as PricewaterhouseCoopers,”
said Bob Visse, director of MSN at Microsoft Corp.
“Our growth in reach illustrates how new and existing customers are becoming increasingly engaged with the useful services and content MSN offers. This kind of momentum only adds to the excitement leading up to the launch of MSN 8.”

Suzanne Faulkner, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said,
“Now, more so than ever, it’s important to communicate to the public credible key operating metrics, such as the number of unique users. Our firm applauds MSN for taking the lead in having its global unique user count verified by an independent third party. It’s beneficial for the industry as a whole, and we suspect others will follow suit.”

One of the factors fueling the ongoing growth of MSN is its commitment to providing popular communication services such as MSN Messenger to consumers around the world. MSN Messenger reached a record growth milestone with more than 75 million users worldwide*.

In addition, according to Jupiter Media Metrix, MSN continues to be the most visited online destination in several markets worldwide including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom**. Among the nine international markets Jupiter Media Metrix measures, MSN Messenger is the No. 1 instant messaging service in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom***.

With 8.7 million subscribers, MSN is set to deliver consumers an even more useful online experience with the launch of its next version, MSN 8, in the United States and Canada this fall and in other parts of the world in the following months. MSN 8 was designed following extensive consumer research to deliver a comprehensive set of software services to help consumers reach their potential on the Internet. With enhanced online safety features, valuable communication services and advanced browsing and productivity software, MSN 8 will be included in MSN Internet Access broadband and narrowband subscriptions in the United States and also will be available as a separate subscription to consumers who use other ISPs.

About MSN

MSN attracts more than 300 million unique users worldwide per month. Available globally 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 . MSN worldwide sites are located 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.

* According to Microsoft internal measurement

** According to Jupiter Media Metrix Monthly Flash Report, June 2002

*** According to Jupiter Media Metrix Monthly Flash Report, June 2002

Microsoft and MSN 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.

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Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at .

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