LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates unveiled the company’s most sweeping broadband-focused service offerings ever today with the launch of new MSN®
Internet services in the United States at the 2004 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Gates also launched the MSN Video service, which provides a range of news, sports, entertainment and lifestyle broadband video content, with the help of Jay Leno of “The Tonight Show”, who joined Gates on stage to highlight his show’s availability on MSN. The new MSN, designed for broadband users, brings more to consumers than ever: more personalization options and free broadband content at MSN.com via a new MSN home page and a newly supercharged My MSN customizable home page. The new MSN delivers more value with the most advanced software available for customers who want more out of their broadband service with premier MSN all-in-one service offering, MSN Premium, and more customer choice with a broad range of other premium Web service offerings.
During his annual CES keynote address, Gates highlighted the importance of the new MSN, predicting that it will be one of the most important offerings from Microsoft this year because of the rich capabilities it offers the growing number of broadband customers.
“Broadband is revolutionizing how people work and play online,” Gates said. “The new MSN delivers innovative new software services that help people take full advantage of the high-speed Internet, offering them more connected experiences and easy access to the information they want.”
MSN.com: More Than a New Look
The new MSN.com home page got an invigorated look today, with a new design to enhance customers’ broadband experience with a new streamlined interface, more broadband content and easier navigation, as well as easy access to the features consumers use the most. People visiting the site using a dial-up connection will see a version of the home page with content optimized for faster viewing over those connections.
Also unveiled today was a revamped and more customizable My MSN home page that provides customers with convenient access to their favorite online content and allows them to drag and drop content modules on their My MSN page. With more than 150 content modules offered, customers can choose from a wealth of information on personalized news, traffic and weather reports, as well as music and entertainment information from leading partners, including eBay Inc., NBC and weather.com. Other customization improvements include the ability to adjust column widths by simply dragging them, as well as to add columns and entire content-specific pages or select creative themes or colors for them.
Adding to the already compelling variety of broadband content on MSN, MSN today also launched MSN Video, a high-quality broadband video service that delivers free broadband content video to all MSN.com and My MSN visitors in the United States. The service enables consumers to easily create custom playlists and access a rich library of broadband content from a breadth of content providers. Built on Windows Media®
Player 9 Series, MSN Video enables consumers to enjoy nearly instant playback of high-quality video from a range of content partners including NBC News, featuring segments from “Nightly News with Tom Brokaw,” “Today Show,” “Dateline NBC,” CNBC and MSNBC; Discovery Communications, with programming from channels including the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, The Learning Channel and Travel Channel; National Hockey League (NHL); NBC Entertainment with programming from the NBC Network including “The Tonight Show” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” reality shows such as “The Apprentice,” and popular programs such as “America Dreams” and “Las Vegas”; Scripps Networks, with programming from channels including HGTV, Food Channel, Do It Yourself Network and Fine Living Channel; Showtime Networks Inc., with special clips and interviews with the stars of a brand new original series premiering this month, “The L Word,” as well as some of Showtime’s most popular original series such as “Soul Food,” “The Chris Isaak Show” and “Family Business”; and Weather Channel Interactive with content from the Weather Channel and weather.com.
MSN Premium: More Value for Customers Looking for More
The star of CES for MSN was MSN Premium, which was designed to meet the needs of what customers care about most — advanced communication tools, persistent online protection and digital lifestyle management — and Microsoft went straight to customers to understand this. MSN undertook Microsoft’s largest managed beta program, with more than 25,000 consumers, to solicit feedback to design and improve the product.
“Guided by more than 150,000 pieces of feedback from beta testers, the new MSN is designed for the people by the people,” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of the MSN Personal Services & Business Division at Microsoft. “The new MSN is truly the best makeover of the year for broadband users.”
MSN Premium offers these features:
Advanced communication capabilities that provide rich e-mail management and creation tools, introduce innovative and seamless ways of sharing digital photos, enable customers to easily manage multiple e-mail accounts, and help them jointly manage their work and personal information with the Microsoft Office Outlook®
Connector for MSN.
Industry-leading technology to provide proven security solutions including desktop anti-virus, firewall and anti-spyware protection powered by McAfee Security; multiple levels of junk e-mail filtering including Microsoft®
SmartScreen Technology; smart pop-up management; and rich parental controls.
Rich information services and productivity applications such as a dynamic dashboard, blogging capabilities, photo-editing and organization tools with MSN Photos Plus; personal finance tools with MSN Money Plus; and learning and resource tools from MSN Encarta®
Available as a subscription service without Internet access, MSN Premium costs $9.95 per month or $99.95 per year* for U.S. subscribers and delivers ongoing updates and benefits. For a limited time, consumers can try the new MSN free for three months*. If purchased separately, the services combined in MSN Premium would cost more than $350 a year and require customers to independently manage and update them. MSN partners, including Qwest Communications International Inc. and Verizon Communications will make the service available to their broadband customers in the United States at no additional cost.
For Customers Who Want More, MSN Delivers More Than Ever
For consumers who want to get more out of their broadband Internet experience, MSN today also introduced a portfolio of premium Web service offerings. These services are designed to offer customers more choice, connecting them with the best service for their personal needs. In addition to MSN Premium, the broad portfolio of subscription services offerings includes these:
MSN Plus. Designed for people who need advanced communication tools, MSN Plus provides advanced functionality such as a rich e-mail client for sending, receiving and managing their inbox, additional storage for one e-mail account (25 MB of inbox storage, 10 MB of attachments), roaming e-mail access, calendar-sharing and advanced photo-sharing capabilities through MSN Messenger. MSN Plus costs $5.95 per month or $49.95 per year.*
MSN Hotmail Extra Storage. MSN Hotmail®
Extra Storage now comes in four sizes:
For new Hotmail users, 10 MB of e-mail storage and attachments up to 3 MB in size for $19.95 per year.*
For sharing digital photos, 25 MB of e-mail storage and attachments up to 10 MB in size for $29.95 per year.*
For sharing large files or applications, 50 MB of e-mail storage and attachments up to 15 MB in size for $39.95 per year.*
The ultimate solution for Hotmail super-users, 100 MB of e-mail storage and attachments up to 20 MB in size for $59.95 per year.*
MSN Personal Address. This service enables consumers to have their own personal e-mail domain, with five personalized e-mail accounts, each of which includes 2 MB of e-mail storage. MSN Personal Address costs $34.95 per year.*
MSN 9 Dial-up. For customers who want narrowband Internet access, MSN introduced MSN 9 Dial-up in the United States, which includes MSN Dial-up Accelerator.** MSN 9 Dial-up is available for $21.95 per month with two months free service.*
MSN attracts more than 350 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 38 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and ad sales 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.
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.
* Promotional offers only available to new subscribers in the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. After the trial period (if any), the then-current price for your MSN plan will be automatically charged to your credit card until you cancel your account or select an alternative plan. You must agree to the MSN Subscription Agreement to access the service. A major credit card is required. MSN is available only for personal noncommercial use. MSN 9 Details: For users of Windows®
98 or later operating systems only. Prices subject to change. Additional terms may apply. MSN Plus and Premium Offers: Internet access service not provided; you must have existing Internet access service. No refunds on prepaid plans, unless cancelled within 30 days. MSN Dial-up Offers: Additional telephone and/or long-distance toll charges may apply. It is the customer’s responsibility to check with their phone company to determine if additional phone charges may apply. Local market network activity and capacity may affect access availability.
** Separate download required. Visit http://membercenter.msn.com for availability date and download. Secure or encrypted Web pages are not accelerated. Transmission of some files including streaming media, MP3 or other music files, digital photos and executable files is not faster using dial-up accelerator than standard dial-up. Not available for Mac OS X.
Microsoft, MSN, Windows Media, Outlook, Encarta, Hotmail and Windows 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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