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MSN Hotmail, World's Largest E-Mail Provider, Surpasses 30 Million Member Milestone

Already Twice the Size of AOL, Hotmail Increases Capacity to Accommodate At Least 30 Million More Users

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- MSN™ Hotmail today announced that its membership has surpassed 30 million worldwide active accounts, reaffirming its status as the largest e-mail service in the world. Hotmail has added 20 million members since the beginning of 1998, more than tripling in size in less than a year. Hotmail's dramatic growth continues to accelerate since the October redesign of Microsoft's portal site, MSN.COM, which has incorporated Hotmail access across the entire MSN network. The current sign up rate for new memberships frequently totals over 1 million per week. No e-mail service in history has reached this size or added members so rapidly. At its present size, Hotmail has more than twice as many members as America Online, which last month announced a worldwide membership of 14 million.

Hotmail has also announced that it completed deployment of a significant upgrade to increase the capacity of its scalable architecture. The upgrade ensures that Hotmail has sufficient capacity to more than double in size without compromising high-quality service.

"E-mail is the most popular online activity and an important part of our portal site MSN.COM, so we're very pleased with this success," said Laura Jennings, vice president of MSN. "As we reach this new membership milestone, we're investing in additional capacity, reaffirming our commitment to providing the highest quality service possible as Hotmail continues its rapid growth."

More than 80 percent of Internet users regularly use e-mail, making it the most popular online activity across the globe, according to an Intelliquest Worldwide Internet Study in the third quarter of 1998. Internet users worldwide choose Hotmail as their e-mail provider. In fact, more than 50 percent of Hotmail members are drawn from countries outside the United States.

Trade publications have praised Hotmail for its reliability, rich features, anti-spam leadership and overall ease of use. For example, PC World online recently recognized Hotmail as the best Web-based e-mail service. The magazine stated that while others provide similar services, "none can match Hotmail's general ease of use."

About MSN Hotmail

Microsoft's award-winning Hotmail is the world's leading free Web-based electronic mail service, with over 30 million members and an average of 150,000 new accounts established each day. With offices in California's Silicon Valley, the company offers globally accessible, easy-to-use and feature-rich personal e-mail to its members. Hotmail was acquired by Microsoft in December 1997 and is now part of the Microsoft Interactive Media Group. Hotmail is a leader in consumer advocacy and is widely recognized for its strong anti-spam measures. To sign up for Hotmail, go to or

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

NOTE: Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.


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