Microsoft Triples the Fun With All New Offerings for Windows XP Gamers

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 10, 2003 — Today Microsoft Corp. ignites the Windows® gaming world with a trio of new tools and content just for Windows XP, the best version ever of Windows for PC gamers. Microsoft® Windows XP users can now complete their holiday gift list with the Windows XP Game Advisor, a new Web-based tool that sorts through a variety of genres and age-group choices to present the best matches for them from more than 100 of the hottest titles available for Windows today. Gaming enthusiasts will enjoy Windows XP Extras, a free collection of cool downloadable game add-ons from publishers of some of the season’s hottest games including “TRON 2.0” from Buena Vista Interactive, “FINAL FANTASY®
XI” from Square Enix, and the much-anticipated “Half-Life 2” from Valve. The new Games for Windows Web site, launching today, offers how-to articles, tips, the hottest new gaming hardware and software for Windows XP and more. All of the above can be accessed at .

“Windows XP is the best platform for PC gaming today, and these tools make it even easier for millions of gamers of all types to find, enjoy and extend their gaming experience,” said Dean Lester, general manager of Windows Graphics & Gaming Technologies at Microsoft. “The Windows XP Game Advisor is a fast, easy-to-use Web site resource that will help consumers pick just the right titles for gamers on their gift list this holiday season. We are thrilled to make the Windows XP Extras offerings available for the public. The response from our publishing partners to take part in this program has been overwhelming.”

Windows XP Game Advisor

Microsoft is rolling out the Windows XP Game Advisor, a new Web-based tool that will help Windows XP users determine which games will run on their PC, and then select the perfect game for themselves, family and friends. In addition to allowing consumers to filter games by genre and age group, the Windows XP Game Advisor provides unbiased system checks that will aid consumers in understanding which games will perform best on their computers, before they go to the store — and even print or e-mail a shopping list of just the right games. The site also will filter games according to ESRB age categories so that only appropriate games are recommended for users in specific age groups.

Windows XP Extras

In addition, Microsoft has teamed with top publishers, including Buena Vista Interactive, Valve, Square Enix and Microsoft Game Studios to offer Windows XP Extras, a monthly series of unique game content add-ons for the hottest games on the Windows platform. The first Windows XP Extras offerings give Windows XP gamers three innovative new levels of “TRON 2.0,” developed by Monolith Productions Inc., which incorporate two new multiplayer combat modes of game play that are not currently available in the game. Also in the first Windows XP Extras offerings, gamers will be able to customize their Windows Media®
Player with the official “Half-Life 2” skin from acclaimed developer Valve. Other Windows XP Extras include a Windows-based desktop theme from the recently released “FINAL FANTASY XI” from Square Enix as well as a card-flip game based on the popular “Zoo Tycoon (TM) ” franchise from Microsoft Game Studios and a Princess Royal Horse Show animated desktop toy from Disney Interactive.

Additional Windows XP Extras content will be announced at later dates.

Games for Windows Web Site

A bevy of how-to articles, information about hot online games and other game-related advice can be found on the new Games for Windows Web site. The articles range from beginner tutorials, such as how to install common peripherals, to pieces for the more serious gamer, such as overviews of surround sound and how to use the compatibility mode to play older games in a gamer’s library.

These new offerings are the latest step toward Microsoft’s goal to help ensure that Windows gaming innovation never stops and that there’s always something exciting and new for gamers happening on the Windows platform.

About Games for Windows

Games for Windows are built to harness the powerful technology of Windows to provide gamers with the most innovative games possible. Games for Windows utilize the performance and stability of Windows to bring serious gaming to everyone. Reliability, compatibility and the freedom of customization empower gamers to create their own gaming destiny. More information can be found on the Games for Windows Web site at .

About Windows XP

Windows XP — a standard for efficient, dependable computing — gives users the freedom to experience the digital world by building on the momentum of the Internet and digital media with improvements that increase productivity and provide both business and home users with an easy-to-use and exciting PC experience. Windows XP puts the exciting experiences of the digital age at users’ fingertips by uniting PCs, devices and services, and brings the solid foundation of Windows 2000 to home PC users, enhancing reliability, security and performance. More information on Microsoft Windows XP can be found on the Microsoft Web site at .

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, Windows, Windows Media and Zoo Tycoon 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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