Magazine article Information Today

Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 1998 Fifth-Anniversary Deluxe Edition Debuts

Magazine article Information Today

Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 1998 Fifth-Anniversary Deluxe Edition Debuts

Article excerpt

Microsoft Corp. has announced the release of the fifth-anniversary editions of Microsoft Encarta. Encarta 98 Encyclopedia and Encarta 98 Encyclopedia Deluxe Edition offer new content and interactive features.

"What Encarta provides is a rich multisensory experience that draws users in and inspires further learning," said Craig Bartholomew, general manager of the reference business unit at Microsoft. "What might have been a task or a chore suddenly becomes an engaging experience. Today, hundreds of thousands of families in America use a multimedia encyclopedia, and we are proud that Encarta has been the leading product in this category for five straight years."

This year, Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia has expanded to two CD-ROMs. The deluxe version has more content and features, as well as a separate report-writing application called Research Organizer. The title contains a total of 32,000 comprehensive articles, 16,000 photos and illustrations, 2,300 sound clips, and 150 videos and animations.

It also features exclusive multimedia, online, and accessibility features. Microsoft lists the following features among the new product's highlights:

* 6,000 new and updated articles on a wide range of topics come complete with 900 informally sidebars -- text from famous documents and speeches, guest essays, and views from notable newspapers and magazines.

* New media and interactive features include 19 new Virtual Tours that link 360-degree views with still images, sound clips, related articles, and content to provide a unique perspective on human and natural wonders such as the Space Shuttle, Mayan ruins, and the Grand Coulee Dam; 24 "interactivities" on topics from human anatomy to reconstructing dinosaurs; and thousands of images, video clips. and audio clips.

* The Encarta 98 Research Organizer offers a handy way to gather information from a variety of sources, make virtual note cards, arrange them in an outline, and construct a report. This tool was designed to foster good research habits and report-writing skills.

* Accessibility tools include closed captioning and quick searching.

* New online features include streamlined, automatic monthly updates and over 10,000 searchable Web Links. …

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