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Microsoft Credits MSN Explorer for Record Growth at MSN

Software juggernaut Microsoft Corp. Monday crowed that its MSN service has seen record growth in users since the Oct. 25 launch of the branded MSN Explorer browser, which it said has raked in more than 1.5 million consumers.

The company said MSN Calendar has seen a jump of 183 percent in new users, and the number of consumers using MSN MoneyCentral has increased by 40 percent. Microsoft also said MSN Hotmail customers have increased by 10 percent, photo uploads to MSN Web Communities have increased by 33 percent and MSN eShop doubled its average daily number of purchases on the day following the launch.

"The positive feedback we are hearing about MSN Explorer helping to simplify people's lives is very exciting," said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN. "It is gratifying that more than 1.5 million consumers have already used MSN Explorer to personalize their Web experience and take advantage of our great services."

Microsoft said the MSN Explorer is the result of extensive research aimed at helping users get more value from their online experiences. The company said MSN Explorer is a browser and portal in one, integrating software like Internet Explorer and the Windows Media Player with content and services like MSN Hotmail, MSN MoneyCentral, MSN eShop and MSN Messenger. It features a guided tour, one-click access, automatic sign-in to Web services, support for up to nine Microsoft Passport accounts, automatic updates of new features and modifications, a customizable settings page and home page, a customizable My Stuff bar, roaming settings, unified notifications, an integrated media player, and My Radio, among others.