Microsoft Announces Further Broadband Partnerships for Xbox Live

GENEVA, Oct. 15, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced additional broadband provider partners for the Xbox Live (TM) service — the ultimate high-speed gaming arena and the first and only integrated community sharing in exhilarating, always-connected broadband gaming experiences.

As part of the Xbox Live Compatibility Program, the 22 new broadband partners are working with Xbox®
to provide offers for their customers over the coming months, and are joined in the program by 50 other broadband providers in North America, Japan and Europe.

The new partners are from the eight countries that will be launching Xbox Live in October: Australia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Korea, Norway and Switzerland. They include the following:

  • Australia: OptusNet (Cable), Telstra Big Pond (DSL/Cable)

  • Austria: UPC/chello (cable), Telekom Austria (DSL)

  • Denmark: TDC (DSL/cable), Telia Stofa (cable)

  • Finland: Elisa (DSL), Helsinki Television (HTV Cable) (cable), TeliaSonera Finland (DSL)

  • Ireland: Eircom (DSL), Esat BT (DSL), NTL (cable)

  • Korea: KT (DSL)

  • Norway: UPC/chello (cable), NextGenTel (DSL), Telenor (DSL),

  • Switzerland: Bluewin (DSL), sunrise (DSL)

Microsoft is committed to continuing the development of broadband partnerships for Xbox Live and will be expanding on the current partnership with Wanadoo (France Telecom) to cover the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom (Freeserve) as well as adding Wind in Italy.

The Compatibility Program helps ensure gamers can find broadband packages that allow them to connect to Xbox Live quickly and intuitively, making it even easier to enjoy the fast-action, always-on broadband gaming experience that is Xbox Live . Participating broadband partners will work with Xbox to ensure compatibility of their broadband service with Xbox Live, co-develop connectivity packages and co-marketing initiatives, and work to ensure playing and connecting Xbox Live is as intuitive as possible.

“Building and maintaining great relationships with partners such as broadband providers and other third parties is key to the success of Xbox Live ,” said Michel Cassius, senior director of Xbox platform and marketing at Microsoft. “Xbox Live is a killer app for gamers and a boon to broadband providers, helping drive broadband adoption. Together with these partners we will combine exceptional gaming experiences, a world-class service and a viable business model so all parts of the online ecosystem thrive.”

Xbox Live , currently available in the United States, Canada, Japan, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, is the most successful paid online gaming service with more subscribers than any competitive paid online gaming site.

Xbox is growing the online gaming community with Xbox Live . In fewer than 11 months Xbox Live , the only dedicated broadband online gaming service, has taken off with more than 500,000 people playing on Xbox Live worldwide and participating in more than 15 million gaming sessions every week. Xbox Live has hosted more games to date than the number of games played in the histories of the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball combined. Fifty Live – enabled Xbox games are expected by the end of this calendar year and 100 are expected by the end of fiscal year 2004.

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox video game system and Windows®
and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows ( http://www.microsoft.com/games/ ), including such franchises as “Age of Empires®
,” “Flight Simulator” and “Zoo Tycoon (TM) “; Xbox ( http://www.xbox.com /), including such franchises as “Halo® ,” “Project Gotham Racing®
” and “NFL Fever”; and Zone.com ( http://www.zone.com/ ), the official games channel for the MSN®
network and home to such hits as “Bejeweled” and “OutSmart (TM) .”

About Xbox

Xbox ( http://www.xbox.com/ ) is Microsoft’s future-generation video game system that delivers the most powerful games experiences ever. Xbox empowers game artists by giving them the technology to fulfill their creative visions as never before, creating games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality. Xbox is now available in the continents of North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

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.

This press release is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to this press release or the information contained in it.

Microsoft, Xbox Live, Xbox, Windows, Age of Empires, Zoo Tycoon, Halo, Project Gotham Racing, MSN and OutSmart 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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