Microsoft Releases Two New Encarta 99 Reference Titles In DVD-ROM Format

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 23, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today released DVD-ROM versions of Encarta® Reference Suite 99 and Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe 99. The two Encarta multimedia encyclopedias take advantage of digital versatile disc (DVD) technology to eliminate the inconvenience of disc-swapping, provide added integration and improve video and audio performance. Encarta DVD Reference Suite 99, which includes Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe 99, Encarta Virtual Globe 99 and the Microsoft® Bookshelf® 99 reference library, puts an entire five-CD library of cross-linked information onto a single DVD-ROM disc. And for the first time, Microsoft is offering the standalone Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe 99 in the DVD-ROM format, consolidating the title’s entire three-CD contents on a single disc.

In December 1997, Microsoft introduced its first DVD title, Encarta DVD-ROM Reference Suite 98. With the new versions, Microsoft Encarta titles continue to enhance and enrich students and families’ experience through DVD’s technological advancements.

“Microsoft recognizes that consumers want to access the great content in Encarta products as conveniently as possible,”
said Craig Bartholomew, general manager of the learning business unit at Microsoft.
“We are fulfilling this need by offering these two titles in the DVD-ROM format, so consumers can forget about swapping discs and focus instead on learning and research.”

Use of DVD-ROM technology is increasing rapidly. According to Microsoft’s research, an estimated 40 percent of all home computers in North America will ship with DVD-ROM drives this holiday season. The DVD community eagerly awaits software titles as well.
“DVD is already changing the way we think about the personal computer. As the natural successor to CD-ROM, DVD will be in tens of millions of PCs by the turn of the century,”
said Bryant Frazer, an editor of DVD Report, a leading DVD newsletter.
“That means tens of millions of PCs with high-quality full-motion video, digital surround-sound capabilities, and a universe of possibilities on every disc – from educational products like Encarta to electronic commerce to DVD-based Internet environments.”

The new reference suite’s cross-product links clearly demonstrate the convenience of the DVD-ROM format. For example, a student using Encarta Encyclopedia to research the history of jazz can jump directly to Encarta Virtual Globe to see a detailed map of New Orleans or to Microsoft Bookshelf for quotes from famous jazz musicians. With a single mouse click, students can navigate quickly and easily among the more than 6,000 such links within the suite.

The additional disc capacity of the DVD-ROM format has also allowed the Encarta team to enhance the graphical and audio content to create an even richer learning experience. The DVD Encarta Reference Suite contains
35 percent more videos and 20 percent more 360-degree views than the CD-ROM version of Encarta Reference Suite 99, while Encarta Encyclopedia DVD Deluxe 99 offers 70 percent more videos and 120 percent more 360-degree views than its CD-ROM counterpart. The DVD-ROM versions of both titles offer enhanced audio quality and high-resolution, full-screen MPEG-2 videos.

Pricing and Availability

The Encarta DVD Encyclopedia Deluxe 99 is available for $44.95 (U.S.) or $35 (Can.) after a $25 mail-in rebate*. Encarta DVD Reference Suite 99 is available for $69 (U.S.) or


$45 (Can.) after a $30 mail-in rebate**. Schools and other educational institutions can acquire Encarta DVD Encyclopedia Deluxe 99 and Encarta DVD Reference Suite 99 through the Microsoft Open License Pack program, a flexible plan for licensing Microsoft products. They can see an authorized academic reseller for more information or visit

http://www.microsoft.com/education/k12/
.

The Microsoft learning business unit designs a line of award-winning multimedia reference products. The Encarta line of software tools combines comprehensive, current and authoritative content with state-of-the-art technology to encourage discovery and lifelong learning for students and adults. Users can rely on Encarta products to deliver tomorrow’s way to learn and explore. The complete Encarta line includes Encarta Encyclopedia, Encarta Virtual Globe, Bookshelf, Encarta Online, Encarta Reference Suite, and the line’s newest addition, Encarta Africana, scheduled to be available in January 1999.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq


MSFT


) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

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* Rebate offer is valid to all purchasers in the United States and Canada only. Rebate offer expires Sept. 30, 1999.

** Rebate offer is valid to all purchasers in the United States and Canada only. Rebate offer expires Sept. 30, 1999.

Microsoft, Encarta and Bookshelf are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information, press only:

Jill Herner, Shandwick, (425) 452-5400, jherner@shandwick.com

Kelley McGrath, Shandwick, (425) 452-5400, kmcgrath@shandwick.com

For more information, education press only:

Joelle McGinnis, Grant Jacoby Public Relations, (312) 664-5008, joellemcginnis@monyek.com

Erika Fishman, Grant Jacoby Public Relations, (312) 664-5008, erikafishman@monyek.com

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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