Microsoft Internet Explorer selected as browser of choice for GTE Internet Solutions service. Microsoft to include GTE on Internetreferral server, program offering local service provider subscriptions

IRVING, Texas -- GTE and Microsoft Corp. today announced that customers ordering GTE Internet Solutions (http://www.gte.net) now have a new choice in pre-configured browsers -- Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0. Effective immediately, GTE will designate Microsoft Internet Explorer as its browser of choice because of its easy-to-install dialer and superb functionality.

Beginning in May, consumers buying new computers will find GTE Internet Solutions included in the Microsoft Internet Referral Server. Introduced last year, the worldwide program gives users of the Windows 95 and Windows NT operating systems, and Microsoft Internet Explorer version 3.0, immediate access to the Internet. This allows users to electronically order Internet access service from their desktop, avoiding the delays and confusion that often accompany the selection of an Internet service provider.

In March, GTE became the first local telephone company to sign up more than 100,000 Internet subscribers. To support the growing usage of the Internet, GTE is currently doubling, and in many cases quadrupling, the amount of dial-up capacity in all 381 markets it serves in all 50 states. As previously announced, GTE also plans to begin offering Internet access in 120 new markets by mid-summer.

"GTE Internet Solutions has done an incredible job growing its business and the decision to ship Microsoft's Internet Explorer as its standard browser is further indication of its commitment to provide the highest quality of service," said Cameron Myhrvold, vice president, Public Network Sales, at Microsoft. "I am impressed with the range of options GTE is able to offer its customers. The GTE Internet Solutions service, along with GTE Long Distance and second line promotions, is an attractive pricing package. Microsoft Internet Explorer is a perfect fit with the outstanding services already being provided to GTE customers."

"Adopting Microsoft Internet Explorer as our primary browser supports GTE's commitment to provide residential and business customers the highest quality Internet service," said Alex Coleman, vice president-general manager of GTE's Internet business unit. "Internet Explorer is the browser of choice for an increasing number of corporate and Web customers. The combination of Microsoft Internet Explorer and GTE Internet Solutions service gives customers the easiest, most reliable way to access and distribute the widest possible selection of information available on the Web."

Ease-of-use is just one of the features GTE customers will appreciate in Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0. They will also benefit from its advanced User Interface, customizable toolbar, and communication and collaboration features. Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 is available for free download (except for connect-time charges, if any) for the Windows 95, Windows NT Workstation 4.0, Windows 3.1, and Macintosh operating systems from the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/ie/.

Consumers can still request other browsers offered by GTE, and GTE Internet Solutions service is compatible with all browsers and applications using standard Internet protocols.

With GTE Internet Solutions, customers can access the Internet using a dial-up modem up to 28.8 kbps, dedicated lines operating at speeds of 56 kbps through 45 Mbps or an Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) line up to 128 kbps. Consumers can subscribe to GTE Internet Solutions for $19.95 for unlimited monthly access. Under a separate plan, users can order GTE Internet Solutions for $17.95 (discount good for one year) per month when ordering GTE long-distance service or a second telephone line.

With revenues of more than $21 billion in 1996, GTE is one of the largest publicly held telecommunications companies in the world. In the United States, GTE offers local and wireless service in 29 states and long-distance service in all 50 states. GTE was the first among its peers to offer "one-stop shopping" for local, long-distance and Internet access services. Outside the United States, where GTE has operated for more than 40 years, the company serves over 6.5 million customers.

Additional information about GTE Internet Solutions, the companys dial-up and dedicated access Internet service, can be found at http://www.gte.net. General information about GTE can be found at http://www.gte.com. Consumers interested in signing up for GTE Internet Solutions service can also call 1-800-3NETGTE (1-800-363-8483).

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ "MSFT") 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.

Microsoft, Windows and Windows NT are either registered 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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