MSN and Staples Form Alliance to Bring Technology to Customers

MSN Will Become Preferred Provider of Internet Access in Staples Stores



Apr 25, 2001, 01:00 ET from Microsoft Corp.

    REDMOND, Wash., April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The MSN(R) network of Internet
 services, the leading consumer network in the world with 230 million unique
 users, and Staples Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), the pioneer of the office superstore
 industry, today announced a broad agreement designed to strategically align
 Staples with MSN. As part of the agreement, MSN will become the preferred
 provider of Internet access at Staples stores throughout the United States.
 The alliance also encompasses Internet access promotion through joint in-store
 and online marketing efforts, the promotion of Staples throughout MSN, and
 back-end technology assistance.
     (Photo:  NewsCom:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO )
     Under the three-year agreement, MSN will become the preferred provider of
 Internet access and Internet access devices, such as MSN Companion, at more
 than 830 Staples stores across the United States. Staples.com will have
 prominent placement across MSN properties, including becoming an anchor tenant
 on MSN eShop. In addition, MSN will provide training tools to help Staples'
 associates work with customers.
     This agreement expands on the current relationship between MSN and
 Staples, which is designed to bring MSN Internet Access promotions to Staples
 customers. Currently, Staples offers consumers a year of MSN Internet Access
 with the purchase of a qualifying PC.
     "Working with Staples provides MSN with another outlet to reach even more
 consumers and provide them with online content and services to be more
 productive in their daily lives," said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN.
 "We're excited to be taking our relationship with Staples to the next level,
 fostering our mission to empower consumers through great software and services
 -- any time, any place and on any device."
     "We've selected MSN based on the superior online experience the company
 offers today and its commitment to continually develop technology that
 enhances the online experience," said Jonathan Magasanik, senior vice
 president of merchandising at Staples. "This is very much a forward-looking
 decision to offer MSN to Staples' customers."
     The alliance allows two recognizable brands, MSN and Staples, to provide
 the tools and connectivity solutions to help millions of customers get online
 and make the most out of the Internet, and offers exciting incentives for
 getting connected through MSN as well.
 
     About Staples
     Staples is an $11 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture and
 technology to consumers and businesses from home-based businesses to Fortune
 500 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the
 Netherlands and Portugal. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples invented the
 office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office
 superstores in the world. The company has over 50,000 employees serving
 customers through more than 1,300 office superstores, mail order catalogs,
 e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is
 available at http://www.staples.com/ .
     Certain information contained in this news release constitutes
 forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of The
 Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ
 materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result
 of various important factors including risks related to Staples' ability to
 compete in its highly competitive market, Staples' ability to continue to
 successfully open new stores, Staples' quarterly operating results being
 subject to significant fluctuation, Staples' stock price fluctuating based on
 the expectations of professional securities analysts, the strain on operations
 due to Staples' rapid growth which can affect operating results, the ability
 of Staples' foreign operations and Staples.com to become profitable and the
 ability of Staples to obtain adequate future financing. Additional information
 concerning these factors is contained in Staples' Quarterly Report on Form
 10-Q dated Dec. 11, 2000, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange
 Commission.
 
     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(R) .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(R) 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(TM) 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.
     NOTE:  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.
 
                      MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X33264962
 
 

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.
    REDMOND, Wash., April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The MSN(R) network of Internet
 services, the leading consumer network in the world with 230 million unique
 users, and Staples Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), the pioneer of the office superstore
 industry, today announced a broad agreement designed to strategically align
 Staples with MSN. As part of the agreement, MSN will become the preferred
 provider of Internet access at Staples stores throughout the United States.
 The alliance also encompasses Internet access promotion through joint in-store
 and online marketing efforts, the promotion of Staples throughout MSN, and
 back-end technology assistance.
     (Photo:  NewsCom:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO )
     Under the three-year agreement, MSN will become the preferred provider of
 Internet access and Internet access devices, such as MSN Companion, at more
 than 830 Staples stores across the United States. Staples.com will have
 prominent placement across MSN properties, including becoming an anchor tenant
 on MSN eShop. In addition, MSN will provide training tools to help Staples'
 associates work with customers.
     This agreement expands on the current relationship between MSN and
 Staples, which is designed to bring MSN Internet Access promotions to Staples
 customers. Currently, Staples offers consumers a year of MSN Internet Access
 with the purchase of a qualifying PC.
     "Working with Staples provides MSN with another outlet to reach even more
 consumers and provide them with online content and services to be more
 productive in their daily lives," said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN.
 "We're excited to be taking our relationship with Staples to the next level,
 fostering our mission to empower consumers through great software and services
 -- any time, any place and on any device."
     "We've selected MSN based on the superior online experience the company
 offers today and its commitment to continually develop technology that
 enhances the online experience," said Jonathan Magasanik, senior vice
 president of merchandising at Staples. "This is very much a forward-looking
 decision to offer MSN to Staples' customers."
     The alliance allows two recognizable brands, MSN and Staples, to provide
 the tools and connectivity solutions to help millions of customers get online
 and make the most out of the Internet, and offers exciting incentives for
 getting connected through MSN as well.
 
     About Staples
     Staples is an $11 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture and
 technology to consumers and businesses from home-based businesses to Fortune
 500 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the
 Netherlands and Portugal. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples invented the
 office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office
 superstores in the world. The company has over 50,000 employees serving
 customers through more than 1,300 office superstores, mail order catalogs,
 e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is
 available at http://www.staples.com/ .
     Certain information contained in this news release constitutes
 forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of The
 Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ
 materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result
 of various important factors including risks related to Staples' ability to
 compete in its highly competitive market, Staples' ability to continue to
 successfully open new stores, Staples' quarterly operating results being
 subject to significant fluctuation, Staples' stock price fluctuating based on
 the expectations of professional securities analysts, the strain on operations
 due to Staples' rapid growth which can affect operating results, the ability
 of Staples' foreign operations and Staples.com to become profitable and the
 ability of Staples to obtain adequate future financing. Additional information
 concerning these factors is contained in Staples' Quarterly Report on Form
 10-Q dated Dec. 11, 2000, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange
 Commission.
 
     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(R) .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(R) 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(TM) 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.
     NOTE:  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.
 
                      MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X33264962
 
 SOURCE  Microsoft Corp.

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