Microsoft Unveils Powerful New Interactive Learning Tools On Encarta Web Site

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 3, 2000 — A trusted resource since its debut in 1993, the Microsoft® Encarta® encyclopedia, the No.1-selling multimedia encyclopedia brand, provides fast, trusted and dynamic interactive learning resources to users of all ages and interests. Microsoft Corp. today debuted a newly expanded Web site, which offers tools that can help the growing number of consumers who use the Internet to enhance their everyday lives. now features a search engine that recognizes natural language questions, access to distance learning and classroom-based courses, foreign-language learning content and tools, and a helpful section that explains how to do thousands of essential tasks.

One of the easiest and fastest ways for users to jump-start their knowledge quest is to begin with Encarta Enquire, prominently featured on the home page. Encarta Enquire integrates all of’s resources to deliver fast results in one place, so users don’t have to worry about searching multiple Web sites for information. A user researching a vast subject such as the Web, for example, could try querying,
“What is a Web page?”
on Encarta Enquire. The user will then be offered a variety of options, including the
“Web site”
entry in Encarta Encyclopedia, information about classes on Web programming in Encarta Extension, a suggestion for educational products on designing Web pages, and tips on how to bookmark a Web page from Encarta HowTo. With Encarta Enquire, all the learning resources are just one click away.

“The Web is changing the way people learn, and’s fast, trusted and integrated information caters to their needs,”
said Jeff Smith, Microsoft Encarta marketing manager.
“With, people of all ages can make education a lifelong pursuit.” offers tools to help solve the real-life problems that people seek answers to every day. For example, suppose a young man wants to travel to Paris but doesn’t speak the language. The new Language Learning area offers a useful tool to learn French or Spanish on the Internet. For those considering a career change, Encarta Extension, offers a directory of courses and learning products for professional development and personal growth. A gardener might be interested in learning the right way to grow roses. HowTo can explain. On, users can access these new learning tools, in addition to the thousands of encyclopedia articles and images, illustrations and videos that make learning easy and fun.

Backed by the established Encarta reference resources that have been trusted for years, now offers the following:

  • Encarta Enquire starts the interactive learning experience and integrating information on any given subject matter.

  • Encarta Reference offers award-winning and trusted content from the Encarta editorial team. Encarta Reference offers 17,000 full-length articles from the award-winning Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe, Encarta World English Dictionary and Encarta Atlas, a special collection of interactive maps. Encarta Online Deluxe is a premium online version of Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe available to Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe and Encarta Reference Suite owners.

  • Encarta HowTo provides users with access to information on everyday life skills. Encarta unites content with to provide a fast and easy way to find out how to accomplish a variety of real-world activities.

  • Encarta Homework supports middle- and high-school students and their parents with homework help, general research and information gathering by enhancing communication and collaboration on a broad range of learning topics.

  • College Prep offers an expanded College Prep area featuring articles, tips and tools for getting into college from the leader in college prep services, the Princeton Review. Students can search for information on colleges, send e-mail to obtain further information, apply online and take online courses to prepare for the SAT.

  • Encarta Extension allows adult learners to find, compare and enroll in educational and training classes for personal and professional development. Through’s links to THINQ and , Encarta Extension offers a directory of classroom-based and distance learning courses, as well as relevant books, CD-ROMs and videos to help adults build and improve important skills.

  • Encarta Language Learning is an engaging way to learn French or Spanish on the Internet through free* lessons, bilingual dictionaries, evaluation exams, words of the day and more.

  • Encarta Shop offers a great collection of education-related merchandise, including books, cassettes and reference materials. also continues to offer resources for teachers. In the For Teachers section, educators can link to the Microsoft Classroom Teacher Network, a free* online professional development community offering resources, tutorials, peer-to-peer contact and monthly online seminars to help teaching professionals effectively integrate technology into classroom learning. Other links include the Microsoft Lesson Connection and lesson plan archives. Educators can find more than 550 engaging lesson plans in 13 subject areas that use Encarta reference software, including Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe and Encarta Africana.

Microsoft’s Learning Business Unit designs a line of award-winning interactive learning products that allow students to enhance learning by using technology. Encarta Language Learning is the most recent addition to the Encarta line, which also includes the Encarta Reference Suite, Encarta Encyclopedia, Encarta Interactive World Atlas, Encarta World English Dictionary and Encarta Africana (available separately and together in the Encarta Reference Suite).

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.

* Connect-time charges may apply.

Microsoft and Encarta 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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