Microsoft Launches New Dictionary

REDMOND, Wash., June 17, 1999 — The last time a newly written dictionary was released in the United States, words such as microwave, Internet and chiphead were nowhere to be seen.

Today, Microsoft Corp. announced it will release the first newly written U.S. dictionary in 30 years. Three years in the making, the Microsoft® Encarta® World English Dictionary on CD-ROM is scheduled to hit store shelves in August chock full of new words and easier-to-understand definitions. The dictionary’s release marks the first time World English and the Internet have been used in developing a new lexicon of language.

The dictionary came to fruition after London-based Bloomsbury Publishing Plc asked Microsoft to create an easy-to-read and easy-to-use dictionary with clear definitions for everyday language. Anne Soukhanov, U.S. editor and world-renowned lexicographer, and Kathy Rooney, Bloomsbury editor in chief, led more than 320 expert editors, lexicographers and consultants from 20 English-speaking countries who used a combination of computer and Internet technology to compile, edit and research the comprehensive resource.

Encarta World English Dictionary, with its various editions, gives a global perspective to words such as smurf, goth, outport, carnapper and creepback. Quick definitions, which come before full definitions, give a concise six to seven word summary of every word, and the inclusion of new words such as autogenocide, splatterpunk, keypal and greentailing give a fuller picture of the English language through 400,000 references.

“The English language has truly become global,”
Soukhanov said.
“The reason for new print editions is usually new words and new definitions of existing words. With the emergence of new words and the opportunity to utilize technology and the Internet, the need for a new American English dictionary with a worldview such as Encarta World English Dictionary has never been greater.”

The English language continues to expand globally as a first or second language, with more than 750 million speakers. The Internet has expanded the use of English as a cross-cultural language, and today a majority of Web sites and information stored on computers are in English. A new industry of Internet commerce has emerged, and companies around the world use English as the language of business. Millions of people worldwide send messages via e-mail to friends in other countries who use English to communicate. And through the use of e-mail, for the first time the Internet played an integral role in the development of a dictionary.

“Teaming up with Bloomsbury to develop Encarta World English Dictionary was a perfect fit,”
said Mark Young, group product manager, Learning Business Unit at Microsoft.
“Through Bloomsbury’s expertise and our technology, we have been able to create a truly invaluable product that no desk or computer should be without.”

Microsoft is scheduled to release Encarta World English Dictionary on CD-ROM on Aug. 4, 1999, simultaneously with the print versions of the British edition from Bloomsbury, the American edition from St. Martin’s Press and the Australian edition from Pan Macmillan.

Encarta World English Dictionary is part of the Encarta Reference Suite 2000, the complete collection of multimedia reference tools for learning and exploration, which will include Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe 2000, Encarta World English Dictionary and Encarta Interactive World Atlas. Encarta World English Dictionary is designed to meet the needs of students, adults, schools and libraries, businesses, Internet users and international travelers – anyone who needs or wants to know more about the English language.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) 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.

Microsoft and Encarta 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.

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

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