Online Dictionaries Face New Competition as Microsoft Launches Free Online Version of Encarta World English Dictionary

REDMOND, Wash., March 17, 2000 — The definitions of English words written and spoken around the world are now just a click of the mouse away with the launch of a free* online version of the Microsoft® Encarta® World English Dictionary from Microsoft Corp. The online dictionary offers quick, easy-to-understand definitions that talk to users with audio pronunciations in a human voice. The online dictionary is scheduled to be available at on April 17 and will provide access any time, anywhere at no cost.*

“Encarta World English Dictionary is one of the first dictionaries created with the help of the Internet, making it a natural fit to be offered online,”
said Craig Bartholomew, general manager of the Learning Business Unit at Microsoft.
“Unlike some competitors, it contains definitions that clearly reflect today’s language. We have thousands of audio pronunciations in the dictionary, and it’s thoroughly up to date on the use of English around the world.”

The online dictionary, available free* next month through , includes definitions, word origins and essays on usage from the CD-ROM version of Encarta World English Dictionary released in August 1999. It reflects today’s global English with definitions that people can understand and use every day.

“The Encarta World English Dictionary has been a wonderful reference tool for my students at school, and now with online availability, it will be even more accessible to more people,”
said Susan Meyers, English teacher, Rantoul High School, Rantoul, Ill.
“Anyone can use it as a resource. Everyone from students to professionals are working online now, so having this dictionary at their fingertips will make work even easier.”

“The Encarta brand is synonymous with learning, and we are continuing our longstanding commitment to making Encarta online an authoritative and trusted resource that people can go to for information,”
Bartholomew said.
“The addition of this dictionary helps us continue to fulfill that promise.”

The CD-ROM version of the dictionary also is available in the United States for $39.95 with a $20 mail-in rebate and in Canada for $59.95 with a $30 mail-in rebate**. A rich, authoritative resource for all writing needs, it also provides fast, integrated access to five other reference works: the Original Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases, the Encarta Book of Quotations, the Encarta Manual of Style and Usage, the Encarta 2000 Almanac, and the Microsoft Press® Computer and Internet Dictionary.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

*Connect-time charges may apply.

**Valid with qualifying proofs of purchase in the United States and Canada only. Offers expires Aug. 31, 2000, or 30 days after the product is acquired, whichever comes first. Limit one rebate per household. Offers not combinable with other Microsoft rebates or offers.

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

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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