Microsoft Encarta Language Learning Dishes Up Fun and Food With World-Famous Chef Rick Bayless

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 13, 2000 — The Encarta® Language Learning Spanish team at Microsoft Corp. and world-renowned Chicago restaurant owner and chef Rick Bayless serve up the Spicy Conversation Sweepstakes. The grand prize is a trip to Mexico for four, complete with a three-day culinary tour with Rick Bayless as personal guide to the culture and cuisine of the country.

“A country’s food and language are integral parts of its culture,”
Bayless said.
“Learning the Spanish language helps people experience true authentic Mexican cuisine. Today software packages such as Encarta Language Learning Spanish help people gain an understanding of the culture and the cuisine of Mexico, whether they travel abroad or stay at home.”

Contestants can enter the Encarta Spicy Conversation Sweepstakes online through Jan. 31, 2001, by completing and submitting the entry form found at . Entries also can be mailed in on official entry forms available at participating retail computer stores, or on a 3-by-5-inch card with the contestant’s name, address, city, state, ZIP code, phone number and e-mail address to Spicy Conversation Sweepstakes, P.O. Box 4044, Grand Rapids, MN, 55730-4044. Mail entries must be postmarked by Jan. 31, 2001 (one entry per envelope). Additional weekly prizes will be awarded. Weekly prizes include an assortment of Frontera products, autographed copies of Bayless’ new cookbook,
“Mexico – One Plate at a Time,”
and copies of Encarta Language Learning Spanish Deluxe. The drawing for the grand prize is to be held on or about Feb. 16, 2001. No purchase is necessary to enter or win. Full rules are posted on the Web site and are available by mail by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to
“Encarta Spicy Conversation Rules,”
c/o Marden-Kane, Dept. CW, 36 Maple Place, Manhasset, NY, 11030.

“Encarta offers an immersive approach to language learning,”
said Claudia Ender, product manager for Encarta at Microsoft.
“Not everyone can afford to travel to learn the language, but Encarta Language Learning lets users have conversations in virtual situations on the computer to build confidence. By working with cultural expert Rick Bayless and offering a culinary journey to Mexico, we further enhance that learning experience.”

About Rick Bayless

Rick Bayless is a world-renowned chef and owner of Chicago’s award-winning Frontera Grill and Topolobampo restaurants. He is the host of the 26-part PBS television series
“Mexico – One Plate at a Time”
and author of a new cookbook of the same name. Bayless’ love of the Spanish culture dates back to his college years when he studied regional Mexican cooking in an undergraduate program of Spanish and Latin American culture.

About Encarta Language Learning

Microsoft® Encarta Language Learning Spanish is designed to build skills and confidence in Spanish conversation by combining an authoritative curriculum with a realistic interactive environment. Through 360 activities, 60 minutes of video and 10 Virtual Challenges, Encarta Language Learning Spanish builds listening, speaking, vocabulary and grammar skills in beginner- and lower-intermediate-level Spanish speakers. Microsoft Encarta Language Learning

French debuted along with the Spanish product in August 2000 as the newest members of the Encarta interactive learning family.

Microsoft’s Learning Business Unit designs a line of award-winning interactive learning products that allow students to enhance learning through technology. Encarta Language Learning is the most recent addition to the Encarta line, which also includes the Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe, Encarta Interactive World Atlas, Encarta World English Dictionary and Encarta Africana (offered together in the Encarta Reference Suite and available individually), as well as, a continually updated collection of searchable reference text.

About Microsoft

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.

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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