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MSN To Promote Eagerly Anticipated Launch of Halo 2

Biggest ever Xbox online ad campaign launches on MSN

London - UK - 10 November - 2004 - MSN UK, the UKs number one website , today announced a new six-figure advertising deal with Xbox to promote the launch of the most eagerly awaited game Halo 2.

The campaign, which is part of a larger EMEA deal, will run from November 11th 25th. Halo 2 is officially the most highly anticipated console game with pre-sales already topping 1.5 million units the highest pre-order numbers for any game ever.

The three-phase promotion will see a homepage takeover, large 300x250 ad placements on the entertainment homepage and an email marketing campaign. The centerpiece of the campaign is a live streaming television homepage ad on the day of the launch November 11th. This activity continues from a successful pre-launch teaser campaign which ran on the games channel homepage in September.

Online is a significant part of the Halo 2 marketing campaign and is Xboxs biggest commitment to using online as a key element of its marketing activities. Almost half of the total online spend is on MSN with additional online campaigns running in The Sun, FHM, Maxim, XFM and Megastar.

The promotional campaign follows on from previous successful MSN UK campaigns with Xbox, including the launch of Project Gotham Racing 2, Splinter Cell and Rally Sport Challenge 2.

Amanda Anthony, Digital Marketing Manager for MSN, said; "Were delighted to be part of such a major games launch. The Halo 2 campaign shows MSNs capacity to effectively reach both a vast and tailored audience."

Robin Burrowes, Xboxs Online Communications manager said, "MSN offers considerable reach and their tailored channels will allow us to build awareness of the release to a large audience. Online is an integral part of the Halo 2 launch and having worked with MSN on previous campaigns, we are confident that they will deliver a successful campaign."

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MSN is the UKs largest portal attracting over 15.6 million visitors per month in the UK (Nielsen September 2004) and more than 350 million unique users worldwide (MSN Internal Data). Owned by Microsoft, MSN is available in 39 markets and 20 languages.

MSN offers a wide range of Subscription products including Hotmail Extra Storage and MSN Premium or Plus with state of the art parental controls, spam filtering software and photo editing tools.

MSN provides a number of world class innovative communication and information services including:

MSN Hotmail, the UK's most popular free web-based e-mail service with 7.7 million users in the UK (Nielsen September 2004) and over 187 million active accounts worldwide (MSN Internal Data)

MSN Messenger, the UK's number one instant messaging service on the internet with 8.5 million monthly users (Nielsen August 2004) and over 135 million active users worldwide (MSN Internal data)

MSN Search, one of the UKs top search sites with 5.3 million users. (Nielsen September 2004). MSN Search and the MSN Toolbar are available in 38 markets worldwide and 19 languages.

About Xbox

Xbox ( is the video game system from Microsoft that brings people together for the most exhilarating game and entertainment experiences. Xbox delivers an expansive collection of breakthrough games, powerful hardware and the unified Xbox Live online service. The new tagline, its good to play together, captures the spirit of Xbox as the social hub of the new digital entertainment lifestyle.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

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