Goodbye Pirates; Hello Games for Windows– LIVE

LONDON– 24 March 2009 - Windows gaming took center stage today in San Francisco at the annual Game Developers Conference, as Microsoft announced new features coming to the Games for Windows– LIVE online gaming service and community:

Anti-piracy Solution: Zero-day piracy protection and server-side authentication help prevent game piracy before street date, and protect publishers and consumers by requiring authentication for online play

In-game Marketplace: New Marketplace APIs let developers create unique in-game store fronts and experiences surrounding the sale of additional content, providing developers and publishers with new revenue streams, and consumers with a seamless gaming experience

Roaming: PC gamers can now save their personal settings back to their Games for Windows– LIVE account in the cloud, providing access to their settings on any compatible and connected Windows PC

“This update and other features currently in development represent a tipping point in the evolution of Games for Windows– LIVE as a leading online PC gaming network,” said Ron Pessner, general manager of Games for Windows– LIVE.“In the coming months, we will continue to deliver on our promise to provide gamers and publishers with the industry’s best connected gaming experiences through the LIVE service.”

In the last six months, the Games for Windows– LIVE community has seen staggering growth thanks in part to the launch of a more PC-friendly interface last November, and the addition of some of the year’s biggest and best Windows games, including #1 best-sellers“Grand Theft Auto IV,”“Fallout 3” and“Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II.”

“As a publisher, no one is more excited to see the continued growth and evolution of Games for Windows– LIVE than Microsoft Game Studios,” said Dave Luehmann, general manager of Window games for Microsoft Game Studios.“We have several projects underway which will incorporate the LIVE service, and we’re continuing to build new developer relationships here at GDC to bring the best in the industry to Games for Windows– LIVE.”

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For press information, please contact:

Kate Szlendak / 0118 909 5334 / i-kaszle@microsoft.com

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is a superior video game and entertainment system delivering the best games, unique entertainment features and a unified online gaming network that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 has a portfolio of more than 300 games in nearly 40 countries. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox and Xbox 360 video game systems, the Windows operating system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows ( http://www.microsoft.com/games), including such franchises as“Age of Empires,”“Flight Simulator” and“Zoo Tycoon”; Xbox and Xbox 360 ( http://www.xbox.com), including such games as“Gears of War” and franchises such as“Halo,”“Fable,”“Project Gotham Racing” and“Forza Motorsport”; and MSN Games ( http://www.games.msn.com), the official games channel for the MSN network and home to such hits as“Bejeweled” and“Hexic.”

About Xbox LIVE

Xbox LIVE connects more than 17 million members across 26 countries to each other and the entertainment they love. Home of more entertainment from one remote than can be found from any device connected to the television, Xbox LIVE is also a unified online social network bringing friends together, no matter where they are— in the living room or across the world. More information and Xbox LIVE membership can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live.

About Microsoft

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

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