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Microsoft net limits membership

Published on .

Microsoft Corp., preparing for the Aug. 24 introduction of Microsoft Network,Tuesday said it will "temporarily" cut off membership when the online servicereaches 500,000 customers. Some analysts say Microsoft does not have theinfrastructure to cope initially with a mass of online customers. But thecompany said the real issue is its desire to monitor service performance andensure customer satisfaction; MSN wants to avoid the system overloads that attimes have generated bad news for rivals like America Online.

MSN also announced pricing, including a standard price of $4.95 a month withthree free hours of monthly usage, on par with rivals when hourly rates arefactored in, and innovative annual subscriptions starting at $39.95 a year withthree hours a month.

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