MSN Acquires MessageCast to Expand Automated Alerting Services

REDMOND, Wash. — May 11, 2005 — The MSN® network of Internet services today announced that it has acquired substantially all the assets of MessageCast Inc., a leading provider of automated alerting and messaging technology that currently supports the MSN Alerts service. This acquisition builds on the robust MSN Alerts platform, enabling tighter integration with the MessageCast technology. It also extends MSN Alerts to new content channels, helping to expand the ability of MSN to connect consumers to the information and people they care about most.

MSN Alerts (http://www.alerts.msn.com) empowers consumers to receive time-sensitive information from sources such as MSNBC, Fox Sports, Xbox®, MSN Hotmail®, MSN Money and other content partners. MSN has worked with MessageCast since 2003 to make it easier for content providers to offer free MSN Alerts services to MSN customers. These alerts can be delivered via any combination of MSN Messenger, Microsoft Windows® Messenger, e-mail and text messaging on mobile or handheld devices that are compatible with MSN Mobile. The service is currently offered in Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean and Spanish, and is available throughout the U.S. as well as select markets in Europe and Asia.

“This acquisition is the natural progression of our relationship with MessageCast,” said Blake Irving, corporate vice president for the MSN Communication Services and Member Platform group at Microsoft Corp. “Integrating MessageCast’s innovative technology, great people and products into MSN will improve our ability to help consumers maintain timely, relevant connections to the information and people that matter most to them.”

MSN will continue to support current MessageCast customers and address their needs as part of the acquisition. Royal P. Farros, the co-founder and chief executive officer of MessageCast, will work closely with the MSN Alerts team during the transition.

“Microsoft and MessageCast have created a significant information channel for consumers,” Farros said. “It’s incredibly innovative and effective, leverages RSS, and the best part is the customer is totally in control. This is obviously a significant milestone, and we’re very pleased to join the MSN team.”

Established in 2002, MessageCast is a pioneer in creating broadcast messaging systems using real-time networks and RSS content feeds. MessageCast’s technology notifies customers about information services, blog and podcast updates, product information, and updates to the MSN Alerts service.

About MSN

MSN attracts more than 400 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 40 markets and 20 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. 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 solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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