Microsoft Offer Takes Aim at AOL

Microsoft Corp. is offering $50 cash to new MSN Internet access subscribers who pay for three consecutive months of service, the company said Friday.

The promotion applies to new narrowband and broadband subscribers, the company said in a statement.

Microsoft, Redmond, WA, claims MSN gained a record 1.2 million new subscribers last quarter, surpassing AOL's quarterly new-subscriber growth rate for the first time.

But while MSN had 7.7 million subscribers at the end of January, AOL is still by far the industry leader with 33 million subscribers.

The MSN promotion aims to create more churn at AOL.

"We are confident that once consumers experience MSN Internet access, they will join the millions who have already switched," Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN at Microsoft, said in a statement.

To promote the offer, MSN will run ads in national print publications, online and on television. Also, U.S. Postal Service vehicles in San Francisco, Detroit, Atlanta, New York, Boston and Chicago will be wrapped with an ad promoting the service from March 15 to May 15, the company said.

The offer is good through May 30. It is available online at

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