CNBC on MSN Money Leads as Most Trafficked Financial News And Information Site for Six Consecutive Months

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 24, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that CNBC on MSN®
Money, available at , attracted the largest audience, at home, among financial news and information Web sites for the past six months, according to Nielsen/NetRatings (reported as ). In addition, the Web Marketing Association presented CNBC on MSN Money with a prestigious WebAward as the Best Financial Services Website for 2003.

The site’s attainment of these milestones can be attributed to its unique approach to personal finance on the Web, which combines award-winning financial management tools, content and services all in one place. This powerful combination helps consumers review, understand and improve their finances while offering financial institutions a targeted, relevant environment with which to attract and retain customers.

“CNBC on MSN Money clearly has established itself as a comprehensive personal finance site and has enabled LendingTree to connect with and service a broad base of financially savvy consumers,”
said Tom Reddin, president and chief operating officer of LendingTree Inc.
“LendingTree is pleased to align our No. 1 brand with CNBC on MSN Money, providing consumers with the very best in convenience, choice and value when obtaining a loan online.”

Since March, traffic to CNBC on MSN Money has led all financial news and information sites, according to Nielsen. A significant contributing factor to this increase was the introduction of more than 40 Decision Centers that offer users a creative new way to tackle tough financial issues. The centers bring together useful tools and content related to a specific topic such as
“Get the Insurance You Really Need”
“The Right Way to Retire Early.”
The site features its own esteemed editorial staff, including columnist M.P. Dunleavey, who recently won a national Clarion Award in the category Best Informative Column for a series of MSN Money articles.

“For the past seven years, Microsoft has invested in building a comprehensive personal finance Web service that evolves with the needs of consumers and financial institutions,”
said Chris Jolley, director of product management for the Financial Products Group at Microsoft.
“These milestones show that with CNBC on MSN Money, we’ve achieved the winning formula: powerful tools, timely content and expert insight for consumers and a valuable advertising vehicle for financial institutions.”

Background of WebAward and Clarion Award

Now in its seventh year, the WebAward Competition, produced by the Web Marketing Association, is a premier annual competition that judges Web sites against ever-increasing Internet standards and other sites in their industry. The goal of the WebAward Competition is to provide a forum to recognize the people and organizations responsible for developing some of the most effective Web sites on the Internet today.

The Clarion Award’s competition is sponsored by The Association for Women in Communications, an organization formed in 1909 by a group of women journalism students at the University of Washington in Seattle. The Best Informative Column category is open to all newspapers and Web sites with a readership of more than 100,000.

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.

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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