MSN Messenger Service Becomes No. 1 Instant Messaging Service Worldwide

Voice Calling, Personalization and Integration With Leading MSN Services Make Easy-to-Use Messaging Service a Favorite With Consumers Worldwide

REDMOND, Wash. -- March 16, 2001 - The MSN® network of Internet services, the leading consumer network in the world, with 230 million unique users, today announced that the latest data released by Media Metrix Inc. shows that the MSN Messenger Service had more than 29.5 million unique users last month worldwide1, making it the single most-used instant messaging service in the world. Spurred by the addition of compelling features, such as free PC-to-PC voice calling, use of MSN Messenger has grown more than 200 percent worldwide in the past year, with growth outside the United States exceeding 300 percent.

To meet the continually growing demand worldwide for MSN Messenger, the network has made infrastructure investments to provide capacity and reliability for a high-quality consumer experience. MSN Messenger Service, which is available in 26 languages2 and used in nearly every country worldwide, is ranked No. 1 by Media Metrix3 in France, Japan, Spain and the United Kingdom and has seen triple-digit growth during the past year in several markets around the world, including the following:

  • United Kingdom -- 240 percent growth in 12 months since February 2000
  • Japan -- 280 percent growth in 9 months since June 2000
  • France -- 320 percent growth in 12 months since February 2000

"Even during recent turbulent times in the industry, MSN has continued to successfully execute on its plan of extending the value of the network around the world, "said Bob Visse, group product manager at MSN. "The latest numbers on MSN Messenger are another example of consumers flocking to MSN because we bring easy-to-use products, great software and local content to consumers."

MSN growth is not limited to its instant messaging service but expands to the entire MSN network of properties. International expansion, best-of-breed products, investments in the MSN brand and an integrated global network have been key factors in MSN becoming the largest consumer network on the Internet, with over 230 million unique visitors last month. The MSN Hotmail® service is the world's largest Web-based e-mail service, providing service to more than 89 million customers in over 200 countries. MSN combines the best services on the Web -- such as MSN Hotmail, MSN Messenger and MSN Search -- with local content and alliances in 33 markets and 17 languages to create a home on the Web for consumers worldwide. More information can be found on the Microsoft Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/newsroom/msn/factsheet/global.asp.

About MSN

MSN gives consumers a new home on the Internet -- a central place where they can get everything they need from the Web and make the most of their time online. With more than 230 million visitors per month, the MSN integrated network of content and services is the most popular destination on the Internet. MSN is available in 33 markets and in 17 languages -- a broader global presence than any other network. MSN takes advantage of the Microsoft® .NET platform to offer leading services, any time, any place and on any device, with an integrated and personalized user experience for communications, search, shopping, personal finance and entertainment. MSN Internet Access and the recently introduced MSN Explorer offer quick, personal and exciting ways to get on to and take advantage of the Web. Best-of-breed services include the MSN Hotmail Web-based e-mail service, the world's largest Web-based e-mail system; MSN Messenger Service, one of the fastest growing instant messaging services on the Web; MSN Search, the second most popular online search service; MSN Mobile, the customizable wireless information service; the award-winning MSN MoneyCentral™ online personal finance guide; MSN eShop, the one-stop online shopping resource; and MSN Custom Web Sites, the easy way to share information on the Web. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com/.

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.

1- According to an aggregation of unique visitors from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, Canada, Spain, Brazil, Denmark, Italy and Switzerland for February 2001.

2- MSN Messenger is available in 26 languages, including Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Portuguese (Standard), Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.

3- Custom category as defined by Microsoft. Includes AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, MSN Messenger Service and Yahoo! Messenger.

Microsoft, MSN, Hotmail and MoneyCentral 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 site at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft's corporate information pages.

2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of Use Privacy Statement