WebTV Looks to Attract Users via Free Service

LONDON (02/23/2000) - Microsoft Corp. is looking to lure new subscribers to its WebTV service with a free two month introductory offer, the company announced yesterday.

Between now and April 30, U.S.-based subscribers who buy a WebTV Plus receiver from Sony Corp., Philips Electronics NV, RCA Corp. or Samsung Electronics Co.

Ltd., and register for a month of paid service, can receive a coupon redeemable for two months of free service, Microsoft said in a statement. The coupons must be received by May 15.

A WebTV Plus set-top box receiver currently costs about US$199, with the service priced at $24.95 per month.

The Microsoft WebTV Network Plus interactive service includes interactive television programming and Internet access with chat and e-mail, Microsoft said. The interactive television element allows viewers to access Internet-based services while they watch television. That includes letting them play along with game shows, view news and sports statistics, vote in polls and buy products.

Microsoft bought California-based WebTV for $425 million in 1997.

Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, can be reached at +1-425-882-8080, or at http://www.microsoft.com/.

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