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Microsoft Announces 2-for-1 Common Stock Split

Microsoft Corp. Monday announced approval of a 2-for-1 split of its common shares by its Board of Directors.

The split is subject to the approval of Microsoft shareholders, who must authorize an amendment to the company's articles of incorporation to add to the company's authorized common stock. Upon approval, shareholders will receive one additional common share for every share held on the record date of March 12, 1999.

"Microsoft works to make our technologies broadly accessible to customers. Similarly, we aim to make our stock broadly accessible to individuals and this stock split should help achieve that objective," said Gregory B. Maffei, chief financial officer. "We're gratified that customers find our products compelling and innovative, and have rewarded the company and our shareholders with a strong stock price."

As of December 31, 1998, Microsoft had roughly 2.5 billion common shares outstanding. Upon completion of the split, the number will increase to approximately 5.0 billion. The additional shares will be mailed or delivered on or about March 26, 1999 by the company's transfer agent, ChaseMellon Shareholder Services L.L.C.

Today's split marks the eighth time the common stock has split since the company went public March 13, 1986.