Microsoft Encarta Takes Learning to a New Level of Discovery

REDMOND, Wash., June 26, 2003 — In the spirit of continued commitment to the quest for knowledge, Microsoft Corp. today unveils Encarta®
Reference Library 2004. With exciting new alliances, compelling features and enhanced tools, the newest version of Encarta provides consumers with comprehensive, up-to-date and trustworthy educational content.

“With each new version of Encarta, we aim to provide more engaging ways for kids and parents to spend less time searching and more time learning,” said Karla Tharin, product manager for the Microsoft®
Encarta product line.
“Encarta Reference Library 2004 brings learning to life, helping students dive into a whole new world of educational discovery.”

Microsoft publicly unveils the latest version of its award-winning education software line today to a gathering of 150 New York City-area educators. As a testament to its continued commitment to helping youth realize their potential, Microsoft will donate 30 copies of Encarta Reference Library 2004 to each teacher in attendance — enough to outfit at least one classroom per teacher with the software.

Encarta Reference Library 2004, available in DVD and CD versions, includes the following new and updated features:

  • New!
    Discovery Channel video content. Discovery Channel provides Encarta Reference Library 2004 users with up to 109 minutes of high-quality, educational video vignettes about subjects such as
    “Life on Mars,” “Sharks,” “Fungus Farmers”

  • New!
    Visual Browser. Encarta Reference Library 2004 debuts the Visual Browser, an innovative tool that helps kids and parents explore the vast amount of Encarta information. Drawing relationships among articles, audio and video clips, interactive presentations, and more, the Visual Browser rotates content icons in carousel fashion around the screen. A click here and another there takes users to uncharted worlds of connected content.

  • Updated!
    Homework Center. The Homework Center returns for a second year with smart enhancements to guide students through research and creative projects from start to finish. Features include expanded Literature Guides to help students better understand classic and contemporary literary works; Homework Starters for guidance on how to approach a paper or report; Chart Maker for easy transformation of data into colorful charts and graphs; and Curriculum Guides for finding grade-appropriate subject content — ideal for home-schooling or finding assignments catered to student aptitude level.

  • Ever-changing!
    Update Encarta. Update Encarta provides users with current information to help ensure their work is timely and accurate. With the click of a mouse, consumers can download and seamlessly integrate up-to-date articles, statistics, news, Web links and other information directly into content articles. Informing users as the world changes, Update Encarta offers fresh content at least once a week.

Encarta Reference Library 2004 also features Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe 2004, Encarta World English Dictionary, Thesaurus and Translation Dictionaries; award-winning Encarta Africana; more than 68,000 editor-reviewed articles; multimedia content including live access to radio, news and weather reports; virtual maps, tours and timelines; charts and graphs; current statistics; games; and much more. Helping consumers discover the world through interactive learning, Encarta Reference Library is the best-selling software reference suite today.*

To meet the unique needs of any family, Microsoft offers Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe, which provides a wealth of up-to-date information for work, home or school, as well as Encarta Encyclopedia Standard, an everyday reference guide offering current information for the whole family.


The Microsoft Encarta Reference Library 2004 DVD Plus and CD will be available throughout the United States by June 30, 2003, for an estimated retail price of $69.95 (U.S.). Microsoft offers a $20 mail-in rebate.

About Microsoft Home Retail Division

Microsoft Home Retail Division is a leading publisher of home software for the PC. Celebrating Microsoft’s 20 years of delivering products that help consumers accomplish and enjoy everyday tasks, HRD brings consumers Microsoft Encarta, the industry’s best-selling* encyclopedia brand; Microsoft Digital Image products, which combine advanced photo-editing features and unmatched organizational tools with unparalleled ease of use; Microsoft Money, easy-to-use personal finance management software; Streets & Trips, Microsoft’s all-in-one mapping solution with points of interest, routes, driving directions and Pocket PC compatibility in one value-priced software package; and Microsoft Works Suite, the best-selling** integrated home productivity software that offers six of the latest essential home software titles in one package for tremendous value. Used with the MSN®
network of Internet services, these products have a unique depth and mobility that allow users to take their PC experience even further.

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.

*NPDTechworldSM, March 1993–March 2003, based on total U.S. retail sales

** NPDTechworldSM, March 1993–March 2002, based on total U.S. retail sales

Microsoft, Encarta and MSN 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.

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. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at

Related Posts