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Microsoft Announces Incredible Consumer Momentum for MSN Services

MSN Exceeds 52 Million Users of MSN Hotmail and 5 Million Users of MSN Messenger Service, Releases MSN Messenger Service 2.0

REDMOND, Wash. - Dec. 7, 1999 - Microsoft Corp. today announced increasing support for its communication services offered on the MSN™ network of Internet services; there are now more than 52 million users of the MSN Hotmail™ Web-based e-mail service and 5 million users of MSN Messenger Service worldwide. This phenomenal growth demonstrates consumers' excitement about Microsoft's latest efforts in delivering the Everyday Web. The new Message Center introduced as part of the MSN.com™ home page redesign makes it easier for people to keep track of their communications in one integrated view that includes MSN Hotmail, MSN Messenger Service, MSN Web Communities and MSN Chat.

With the final version available today, MSN Messenger Service 2.0 provides even more integration with other online services from Microsoft. This integration includes support for Microsoft Passport, allowing MSN Messenger Service users to log in using their Passport and add other Passport members to their contact list. MSN Messenger Service 2.0 also offers users enhanced integration with MSN Hotmail via up-to-date counts of their unread e-mail messages and real-time notifications of new e-mail received. The seamless integration of MSN Messenger Service 2.0 with MSN Hotmail and Microsoft® Outlook® Express 5 offers users the best way to take advantage of the combined power of e-mail and instant messaging. In addition, to build on the existing integration with Microsoft NetMeeting® conferencing software, instant messages can now be initiated from within NetMeeting 3.0; so MSN Messenger Service is no longer the only way for users of NetMeeting 3.0 to locate others to participate in online audio, video or data conferences.

Microsoft also announced today that a preview of MSN Messenger Service will be available next week as an integrated component for users of the award-winning MSN Internet Access service. This will also enable users of the proprietary Friends Online service (part of MSN Internet Access) to easily convert to using MSN Messenger Service and take full advantage of its superior functionality and integration with Microsoft Internet Explorer browser software and the Outlook Express messaging and collaboration client.

Building on the globalization of MSN Messenger Service 1.0, which was available in 10 languages, version 2.0 will expand localization to 26 languages: English, German, Japanese, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, French, Spanish, Swedish, Italian, Norwegian, Brazilian Portuguese, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Turkish, Greek, Slovak, Slovenian, Arabic and Hebrew Users of Internet Explorer and Outlook Express worldwide will be able to enjoy MSN Messenger Service as an integrated communication service. Its increased localization furthers MSN Messenger Service as the most widely available instant messaging service in the world and will enable continued rapid growth of the service.

These new services and incredible growth demonstrate the continued momentum of MSN in delivering the Everyday Web for consumers. More people than ever are selecting MSN because of its personalization, integration of services and response to consumer requests. The continued growth of MSN communication services includes MSN Web Communities, which already has more than 60,000 public communities created and is growing rapidly with its new flexibility and personalization features. The preview version of MSN Chat is also becoming more popular, in part because emoticons were recently added in response to consumer feedback, so users can better express themselves and have fun.

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