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MSN plans to rule SoHo UK Net access

Microsoft wants to be jostling for the right to be called the UK's largest means of Internet access for consumers by the end of the year.

"If we're not within spitting distance of the leaders by the end of 1997 I'll be disappointed," said Taylor Collyer, Microsoft Network (MSN) UK marketing director. That would represent some remarkable growth as current leader CompuServe claims about 350,000 users in this country while Microsoft only last week passed the 100,000 mark.

Collyer also denied claims by rivals that Microsoft is hyping its figures. "What we're sure of is that 100,000 users today are using MSN to access the Web. Only about 10 per cent are in the trial period and that's the same at any given time." The total number of MSN users who are consumer or SoHo users is "in the high 90's", he added.