Microsoft Encarta Reference Suite Significantly Expanded for 2001: Vibrant Multimedia Integrated With Current Web Content

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 10, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today unveiled Encarta® Reference Suite 2001, the latest product from its leading interactive learning brand.

Encarta Reference Suite 2001 seamlessly integrates the rich multimedia capabilities of the CD-ROM and DVD-ROM with the vast, up-to-date resources found on the Internet. With Encarta Reference Suite 2001, students can watch video of American Track and Field athlete Al Oerter’s discus throw at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome to capture the gold medal and then – with a few clicks – jump to current information on the Internet about this year’s Olympic Torch Relay to Sydney.

Encarta Reference Suite 2001 brings it all together. This year’s suite includes updated and enhanced versions of Encarta’s deluxe encyclopedia, world atlas and dictionary plus one free* year of Encarta Online Deluxe. The added inclusion of Encarta Africana Third Edition makes Encarta Reference Suite 2001 the ideal reference tool for anyone looking to expand their knowledge of a given subject.

“Encarta Reference Suite 2001 connects users and their families to in-depth information that is trusted, easy to find and engaging,” said Claudia Ender, Microsoft® Encarta product manager.
“By integrating access to the Web, Encarta Reference Suite 2001 offers a seamless learning experience. Users can watch videos and see 360-degree views without waiting for lengthy Internet downloads, and also link to related articles on the Internet that have been prescreened for accuracy and credibility. The suite represents a perfect research tool for the family that users can trust.”

This year’s Encarta Reference Suite highlights include the following:

  • Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe 2001 expands the No. 1 multimedia encyclopedia brand at home and in schools with thousands of new and updated articles and more than 290 new videos and animations. Several new features also help make learning even more engaging. These include Encarta Today, which updates information daily from the Web into a dynamic section of the home screen. The Web Center seamlessly extends searches to trusted articles on the Web, each reviewed by the Encarta editorial team for relevancy, balance and accuracy. Finally, a new Researcher tool makes report writing a snap by organizing and footnoting the information users find as they explore the many sections of Encarta.

  • Encarta Online Deluxe is a premium version of Encarta Encyclopedia that is optimized for online delivery.

  • Encarta World English Dictionary 2001 adds more than 450,000 references with thousands of audio pronunciations to one of the first dictionaries created for the Internet age. Also included are 8,400 computer and Internet-related references from the
    “Microsoft Press® Computer and Internet Dictionary.”

  • Encarta Interactive World Atlas 2001 provides eight times more detail than most print atlases, with maps of nearly 1.8 million locations around the globe. This year, Microsoft answered educators’ direct requests for an interactive means to view the entire world at a glance by incorporating a new Flat Maps feature in the atlas.

  • New to Encarta Reference Suite!
    Encarta Africana Third Edition , edited under the direction of Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Dr. Kwame Anthony Appiah, both of Harvard University, provides a comprehensive account of the history, culture and geography of Africa and people of African descent worldwide. This year’s edition includes an expanded Library of Black America, featuring books, slave narratives, novels and poems written by African Americans between 1773 and 1918. Also included is the Music Timeline , developed with consultation from Quincy Jones, which allows users to hear how African-American music evolved from ragtime to hip-hop.

Encarta in Action

Encarta Reference Suite 2001 makes research fast and easy by offering a comprehensive resource to research various aspects of a given subject. For example, if one’s research subject is the upcoming Sydney Olympics, Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe offers a comprehensive overview of Australia and the history of the Olympic Games, while Encarta Africana discusses key events and notable participants from an African perspective. The Encarta Interactive World Atlas can be used to view 21 customizable maps of Australia, including Sydney’s geography, population density and climate. The user can also click to the Encarta World English Dictionary to make sure everything is spelled correctly, then seamlessly link to the Web and check out the latest information about the games from trusted Web sites offered by the Web Center.

Pricing and Teacher Materials

The Encarta Reference Suite 2001 seven-disc CD-ROM set has an estimated retail price** of $74.95 (U.S.) before a $10.00 (U.S.) mail-in rebate. It runs on the Microsoft Windows® 95, Windows 98, Windows NT® Workstation 4.0 with Service Pack 5, Windows 2000 Professional and Window Millennium Edition (Windows Me) operating systems. Encarta Reference Suite 2001 DVD, with all this information integrated on one DVD disc, will be released in September for an estimated retail price** of $74.95 (U.S.) before a $10.00 (U.S.) mail-in rebate.

Volume discounts for all products may apply for schools, colleges and libraries. More information on academic pricing and licensing is available at the Microsoft Education Web site at . Educators can find more than 500 engaging lesson plans to use with Encarta Reference Suite products in the Encarta Lesson Collection at the Encarta Schoolhouse Web site, . More information on Encarta 2001 reference products is available at .

Microsoft’s Learning Business Unit designs a line of award-winning interactive learning products that allow students of all ages to enhance learning through technology. The complete Encarta line includes the above products (packaged as the Encarta Reference Suite and available individually), as well as Encarta Language Learning Spanish and Encarta Language Learning French, the newest members of the Encarta learning family. The Encarta Language Learning programs build skills and confidence in Spanish and French communication by combining authoritative curricula with a realistic interactive environment.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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.

* Free Encarta Online Deluxe offer is valid through Dec. 31, 2001, and is currently valued at $49.95. Access to and use of the Internet may require payment of a separate fee to an Internet service provider. Connect-time charges and long-distance telephone toll charges may apply. The offer is valid in the United States, the District of Colombia and Canada only.

** Reseller prices may vary.

Microsoft, Encarta, Microsoft Press, Windows and Windows NT 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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