REDMOND, Wash., June 24, 2004 — MSN Hotmail, the world's most popular free Web-based e-mail service, will undergo a major upgrade, delivering customers world-class e-mail protection as well as enhanced storage to satisfy all their needs. Starting in early July, MSN will roll out free e-mail anti-virus protection to all the 170 million MSN Hotmail customers worldwide, making MSN Hotmail the only free global e-mail service to both scan and clean incoming and outgoing e-mail for viruses and worms before they can enter a customer's inbox. MSN also announced it will bring increased storage - 250MB inboxes - to free MSN Hotmail customers in multiple markets and will introduce MSN Hotmail Plus, an upgraded premium Web service to help customers get the most out of MSN Hotmail.
"We know from talking with our customers that online safety is their No. 1 concern," said Blake Irving, corporate vice president of Communication Services and Member Platform for MSN. "MSN is intensely focused on providing a safer and more robust communications experience for consumers. Providing free anti-virus cleaning helps protect our Hotmail customers while guarding members of the overall Hotmail community and the friends and family they e-mail."
Later this summer, MSN will begin increasing storage limits for free MSN Hotmail accounts in multiple markets around the world. Customers will receive 125 times their current e mail storage with the introduction of 250MB inboxes and have the ability to send attachments up to 10 MB. Upon upgrade, MSN Hotmail customers will also receive MSN Calendar free, enabling both individual and shared calendaring.
Enhancing Web E-Mail With MSN Hotmail Plus
The upgraded premium Web service called MSN Hotmail Plus is designed for customers who want to get more out of their MSN Hotmail account. MSN Hotmail Plus will be priced at $19.95* per year in the United States and will provide customers with virtually infinite storage - 2 GB of online storage and the ability to send 20MB attachments, as well as additional offline storage limited only by the size of their computer hard drive. MSN Hotmail Plus subscribers will receive additional benefits, including a more streamlined Web e-mail experience with no graphical advertisements and no account expiration. All current MSN Hotmail Extra Storage subscribers worldwide will be upgraded to MSN Hotmail Plus when it launches globally later this summer. MSN Premium subscribers will also receive these added storage benefits later this year.
"By boosting MSN Hotmail storage, we're helping ensure that customers can pick their e-mail service by looking at the overall quality of the service experience," Irving said. "With these new offers, storage will not be an issue for MSN Hotmail customers."
Providing More Comprehensive Protection
MSN remains committed to making MSN Hotmail one of the most protected free Web e-mail services in the world. The new advanced anti-virus service announced today will automatically scan and clean e-mail messages and attachments without requiring action from customers. This move builds on ongoing efforts to provide MSN consumers with comprehensive online protection. MSN continues to heavily invest in tools and technologies to help protect consumers from online threats including spam and viruses. Although spam volume fluctuates daily, measurements show a combination of Microsoft technologies and solutions typically block nearly 3 billion pieces of spam a day from reaching customers' inboxes. In addition, MSN Hotmail provides several levels of enhanced filtering that enable customers to set the level of spam control for their e-mail. By setting spam filters to the Exclusive level, customers will receive e-mail only from addresses appearing in their contacts, service announcements from MSN Hotmail, and messages they have requested. MSN puts the power to reduce spam in MSN Hotmail consumers' hands.
Additional information on Microsoft's anti-spam efforts and e-mail protection innovation supported by MSN Hotmail such as SmartScreen Technology, Sender ID** and the Bonded Sender Program can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/spam/ .
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. 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 .
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* You must agree to the MSN Subscription Agreement to access the service. For users of Windows 98 or later operating systems only. Additional terms may apply.
** Formerly known as Caller ID
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