MSN TV Launches New Back-End Technology Platform

REDMOND, Wash., March 4, 2003 — The MSN®
TV service from Microsoft Corp. ( http://www.msntv.com/ ), a leading provider of Internet service on television, has launched a new back-end technology platform designed to speed delivery of MSN TV content. The new platform allows pages in five MSN TV categories — the News, Sports, Money, Entertainment and Around Town information centers — to load up to 48 percent faster* than they did previously.

The re-engineered hosting environment replaces a legacy, proprietary HTML-based system with Microsoft®
ASP.NET technology and XML architecture.

“The MSN TV service is dedicated to offering our users an easy-to-use Internet experience via television,”
said John Matheny, general manager of engineering for MSN TV.
“Using the latest Microsoft .NET technology that incorporates XML standards, we’ve rearchitected our content delivery environment to improve the experience for our users, increase our productivity and reduce our costs. By using the .NET architecture, our engineers will be able to more easily integrate and use other Microsoft technologies in the future.”

The new architecture for MSN TV utilizes the rich output caching capabilities of ASP.NET. Through the caching technology, MSN TV executes a page request for a user of MSN TV and stores the results in memory. When another user requests the same page, ASP.NET serves the cached result from memory without re-executing the page. With the legacy architecture, identical automated requests for information such as weather, the latest news headlines, sports scores or stock quotes were executed repeatedly, slowing down the user experience and increasing operational costs.

The MSN TV system, from RCA, includes an Internet receiver, wireless keyboard and remote control and is available for $99 (MSRP) at major consumer electronics retailers across the United States. Additional information on the MSN TV service, as well as the names and locations of retailers, can be found at http://www.msntv.com/ or by calling (800) 469-3288.

MSN TV services are available as a local call in most areas. In some areas, long-distance charges may apply. Local access can be checked by calling (800) 469-3288.

About the MSN TV Service

Based in Mountain View, Calif., the MSN TV service is a product group within Microsoft’s MSN division that makes use of everyday technology to help people of all ages and abilities get connected and stay connected to the people around them. By connecting to a television and existing phone line, MSN TV service subscribers can surf the Web, send and receive e-mail, chat, and create instant messages using world-class MSN services such as MSN Messenger Service and MSN Search. Formerly WebTV®
, the MSN TV service was acquired by Microsoft in 1997 and renamed in July 2001 to better reflect the natural synergies between the WebTV service and the vast array of Microsoft and MSN resources. In June 2002, MSN TV unveiled a new Internet receiver and pricing plans. More information on MSN TV and the new MSN TV service gift certificate program can be found at http://www.msntv.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.

* Local market network activity and capacity may affect performance increase.

Microsoft, MSN and WebTV 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. 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 http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.asp.

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