Microsoft Empowers Consumers to Manage Debt, Maximize Investments In Today’s Economy With Enhanced Online Personal Finance Service

REDMOND, Wash., May 23, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today expanded the CNBC on MSN®
Money personal finance service ( ) with new and enhanced features that help consumers make more educated financial decisions in today’s uncertain economy. With a complete redesign and an expanded collection of useful tools and resources, CNBC on MSN Money helps consumers review, understand and improve their finances — from debt management and banking to investments and taxes — all in one place.

Also, Microsoft announced today that CNBC on MSN Money attracted the largest audience among financial news and information Web sites in March and April, surpassing competitors such as Yahoo! Finance and AOL Personal Finance, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. This growing popularity can be attributed to the unique combination of award-winning CNBC on MSN Money tools, content and services. The site also features an esteemed editorial staff including
columnist Jon Markman, who recently was selected as a finalist in the 2003 Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism.

“Now more than ever, consumers want useful resources that help them tackle important financial challenges”
said Chris Jolley, director of product management for the Financial Products Group at Microsoft.
“MSN arms consumers with powerful tools and information to better manage debt, credit, investments and banking, in one convenient place.”

Today’s consumers need guidance to help them overcome financial obstacles. For example, credit card debt at the end of 2002 was up 8.5 percent from 2001, and up 173 percent from 1992, according to To help consumers manage increased debt and ease anxiety related to the current economic environment, the latest version of CNBC on MSN Money, available live on June 20, features the following new and enhanced tools, among others:

Redesigned Home Pages Keep Consumers Up to Date

  • Dynamic home pages throughout the site deliver the latest financial news and key market developments from leading news sources to help consumers stay informed of ever-changing economic news and events, such as changing interest rates.

  • Numerous Decision Centers in each section of the site deliver specific tools and information in one place and help consumers make smarter decisions when it comes to tough financial issues.

Banking and Lending Tools Help Consumers Easily Manage Daily Finances

  • The new Credit Card Analyzer helps consumers find the credit card that best meets their needs from a collection of hundreds in one online location.

  • As the number of new home mortgages and refinance loans continue to rise, the enhanced Mortgages and Loans area provides borrowers with an easy yet powerful tool that identifies loans based on specific preferences. They can search for auto, home equity and mortgage loans; screen for lenders in specific regions; and compare local lending rates with national averages.

  • With enhanced Banking Services, consumers can access an expanded database of bank account offers nationwide, including rates for certificates of deposit and money market, checking and savings accounts.

  • The enhanced MSN Bill Pay enables consumers to view checking account balances in the same place that bills are paid on CNBC on MSN Money, helping them avoid overdrafts.

New Tools Enable Consumers to Monitor Investment and Market Changes

  • New to CNBC on MSN Money,GainsKeeper® helps investors optimize investment transactions, minimize tax implications and automatically generate a ready-to-file Schedule D.

  • New Candlestick Charts show investors the open/close and high/low prices for one or more stocks — providing at-a-glance insights into the bullish or bearish trends underlying daily stock trading activity.

Features Give Consumers Anytime, Anyplace Access to Financial Information

  • Through MSN Mobile, consumers now can receive the Market Report from and breaking news from Reuters, including the top 25 most recent stories via a Pocket PC and top five breaking financial news stories via cell phone.

  • The enhanced CNBC on MSN Money tab in MSN Messenger now allows investors to further customize their stock list and search for a stock by company name in addition to ticker symbol.

About CNBC on MSN Money

CNBC on MSN Money, located exclusively on MSN, combines the award-winning finance tools and content from Microsoft, the worldwide leader in software, with exclusive investment news and analysis from CNBC, the world’s most popular financial cable news network. CNBC on MSN Money empowers people at all levels of experience to easily complete a wide range of financial tasks, such as paying bills, viewing account balances, tracking investments, planning for retirement and staying informed with the latest financial news, in one convenient place online — any time, any place.

Leading industry publications, including Forbes, Money Magazine, PC Magazine and PC World Magazine, consistently applaud the personal finance tools and information from Microsoft. The service is available at or , or by visiting MSN.As a key pillar on MSN, CNBC on MSN Money presents the network’s millions of monthly unique users with more convenient access to their personal financial information any time, any place.

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.

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.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft 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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