More of a Good Thing: MSN 8 Update Combines Numerous Enhancements

REDMOND, Wash., June 4, 2003 — A good thing just got better for MSN®
8 subscribers with today’s release of a host of improvements that will boost the online service’s communications offerings, ease of use and overall performance.

In a continuation of its improvements to MSN 8, MSN began distributing a collection of enhancements that, among other things, improve performance, make it easier to use parental controls, block unsolicited commercial e-mail, and take advantage of the on-screen Dashboard and other unique MSN 8 features. MSN 8 subscribers will begin receiving the improvements today from MSN through idle bandwidth while they are online. To simplify the upgrade to MSN 8, MSN subscribers who have yet to step up to the premium service will be mailed a CD that contains the MSN 8 updates. Consumers interested in subscribing to MSN 8 can sign up and automatically receive the update at http://join.msn.com/ .

“Since the release of MSN 8 last year, we’ve made enhancements to the service that have continuously improved the experience for subscribers,”
said Lisa Gurry, group product manager for MSN.
“With this update, we’ve used feedback from subscribers to create a larger number of improvements, and we’ve combined them into one update that will make MSN 8 easier to use and even more useful.”

Enhanced Junk E-Mail Blocking Tops Communication Enhancements

In response to consumer frustration with unsolicited commercial e-mail, this MSN 8 update enables subscribers to block even more so-called
“spam”
with an improved filtering algorithm. New technology also stops images within e-mail from loading unless the sender is listed in the receiver’s contact list; this helps protect subscribers from offensive graphic material and prevents
“Web beacon”
images from notifying spam senders that they’ve reached an active e-mail account. The new feature allows subscribers to manually open images in unknown e-mail messages after reviewing the rest of the contents.

Other improvements to spam control and communications include the following:

  • Blocking of incoming e-mail messages until they have been scanned for viruses, helping protect subscribers from potentially harmful attachments

  • An on-screen storage meter that displays available e-mail space in the subscriber’s account and a column that lists the size of individual messages. Both features make it easier to manage inbox space.

  • Quick and easy viewing of e-mail from contacts subscribers know, based on contacts in the subscriber’s address book, via a drop-down box in the MSN 8 Mail interface

  • A fully functional offline address book and enhanced support for managing contacts with more than one e-mail address

  • Easier-to-find and more-integrated IntelliSync features, making it easier to synchronize online address books between various systems and devices

MSN 8 Update Makes Parental Controls, Other Features Easier to Use

To help ensure that parents can find and operate parental controls in the service just as easily as their computer-savvy children can, the MSN 8 update simplifies setup and customization of the controls, and adds new ways to access them, including a fly-out menu, accessible from the Help button, of the most frequently accessed parental control options. In addition, the update enables kids to add e-mail addresses to their Contacts list and request parent approval to add contacts to their list, as well as store e-mail to unapproved contacts in the draft folder until a parent gives consent.

Other improvements allow subscribers to do the following:

  • Experience better performance via enhanced reliability, quicker installation through the Web download option, and faster loading of services such as MSN 8 Mail, MSN Calendar and MSN Address Book

  • Select and set any Web site as the default home page in the browser

  • Access a history of recently visited Web sites via a drop-down window in the address bar

  • More easily collapse, expand and customize the Dashboard, as well as access customized Dashboard settings on any computer

About MSN

MSN attracts more than 300 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions 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. MSN 8 is the first Internet software product to have earned the trusted Good Housekeeping Seal. 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/ . MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx .

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.

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 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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