Verizon Online and MSN Join Forces to Offer Consumers DSL Internet Access and Unique Online Services

REDMOND, Wash., and NEW YORK -- MSN and Verizon Online have joined forces to deliver innovative high-speed digital subscriber line (DSL) Internet access and services that can be offered across the country over Verizon's 34 million DSL-capable access lines. This agreement expands upon the companies' existing strategic relationships in the wireless and online information services arenas and furthers their commitment to providing a superior broadband experience to consumers nationwide.

The cobranded service will combine premium Internet services and content from the MSN® network of Internet services, the No. 1 online destination worldwide, with high-speed Internet access and world-class customer support and features from DSL leader Verizon Online. The result for consumers will be a customized browser featuring innovative and unique Internet services and applications that are designed specifically for top performance over broadband connections.

Once the service is available early next year, the cobranded Verizon Online with MSN service will become the preferred Internet service offered to all new and existing Verizon Online DSL customers. In addition, Verizon Online DSL will become the preferred DSL service offered to MSN Broadband Internet Access customers in Verizon's service area. The specially designed cobranded service will be available to all MSN Broadband and Verizon Online residential DSL subscribers where Verizon Online offers DSL service.

"Verizon Online's extensive DSL network and Internet service capabilities, along with premium services and technologies from MSN, will present our customers with powerful applications, content and services that fulfill the promise of broadband," said Ivan Seidenberg, CEO of Verizon. "We are creating the kind of rich, compelling online experience that will make DSL a 'must have' Internet access service."

"Microsoft is strongly committed to speeding the adoption of broadband, and this expanded strategic alliance with Verizon will enable millions of consumers to take advantage of the benefits of high-speed Internet access and rich broadband services and content," said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corp. "This agreement aligns the rich services and content MSN offers consumers with Verizon's state-of-the-art DSL network capabilities. With this new alliance, MSN will be capable of reaching more households via a DSL connection than any other online service in the United States."

Joint Service Will Deliver Superior Online Experience and Future Innovations

The cobranded Verizon Online with MSN service will deliver a range of applications and content specially designed for broadband through a unique, customized browser that features advanced MSN services and content, as well as links to Verizon Online features and premium services. When the service is introduced early next year, consumers will benefit from innovative online services and applications, including advanced communication and browsing services, improved online safety and additional services for productivity tasks, which will be delivered in the new version of MSN. Additional information on these innovations will come later this year.

Other leading MSN services available through the cobranded service will include MSN Messenger, the world's leading free instant messaging solution*; MSN Hotmail®, the world's top Web-based e-mail service; and MSN Search, the No. 1 search service in the United States.** Extensive broadband content from leading MSN content partners such as MSNBC, ESPN, Billboard, E! Online, WebMD, Disney and Discovery also will be available.

Verizon will be the primary provider of DSL and core telecommunications services for the new cobranded service and will promote special offers for a variety of its product lines, including local and long-distance calling, caller ID, call waiting, voice mail, print and electronic yellow and white pages, directory assistance, and more. The cobranded service also lays the foundation for future delivery of individually or jointly developed premium offerings, such as file sharing, collaborative browsing, Internet-based voice services and unified messaging.

Verizon and MSN Build on Strong Commitment to Consumers

This relationship is the latest in a series of alliances between MSN and Verizon to deliver Internet services to customers across the nation. Last month, Verizon Wireless and Microsoft announced a groundbreaking strategic alliance to deliver codeveloped and jointly marketed wireless data services featuring MSN services and content, Windows® Powered devices and enterprise solutions. MSN and Verizon Wireless now offer a joint VZW with MSN wireless service to new and existing Verizon Wireless customers who have a Web-enabled device, and the companies will collaborate on future next-generation wireless data service offerings. The launch of the VZW with MSN service has been an overwhelming success during its first few weeks of availability, with more than 300,000 new subscribers signing up.

In addition, Verizon and MSN formed a strategic relationship in May 2001 to provide comprehensive directory and local business information to users of MSN through Verizon's SuperPages.com.

Today's strategic alliance is the next step in integrating the cobranded Verizon Online with MSN and VZW with MSN customers' broadband and wireless experiences. Consumers using both services will be able to access e-mail across service platforms and have their Internet preference settings delivered to their Verizon Wireless digital Web-enabled phones and to their home PCs and laptops.

About MSN

MSN attracts more than 270 million unique users worldwide per month. Globally available in 34 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and digital marketing solutions 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 www.msn.com. MSN worldwide sites are located at www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx.

About Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications (NYSE "VZ") is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 133.8 million access line equivalents and approximately 29.6 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and nearly 248,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. More information on Verizon can be found at www.verizon.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.


Small Version of Cobranded Logo

Click the image above to download a copy of the cobranded logo.

* Jupiter Media Metrix, April 2002: Custom Category as defined by Microsoft. Data are an aggregation of unique visitors from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

** Jupiter Media Metrix, May 2002, Digital Media Audience Report.

The information in this press release relates to prerelease software and services that may be substantially modified before first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the software and services when first commercially released. This press release is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to this press release or the information contained in it.

Microsoft, MSN, Hotmail and Windows 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.