Information Today
Volume 17,  Number 5 • May 2000
Microsoft Launches Free Online Version of Encarta

Microsoft Corp. has announced the launch of a free online version of Encarta World English Dictionary at According to the release, the online dictionary offers quick, easy-to-understand audio definitions that are spoken in a human voice.

Encarta World English Dictionary is one of the first dictionaries created with the help of the Internet, making it a natural fit to be offered online,” said Craig Bartholomew, general manager of Microsoft’s Learning Business Unit. “Unlike some competitors, it contains definitions that clearly reflect today’s language. We have thousands of audio pronunciations in the dictionary, and it’s thoroughly up-to-date on the use of English around the world.”

The online dictionary includes definitions, word origins, and essays on usage from the CD-ROM version of Encarta World English Dictionary, which was released in August 1999. According to the company, it reflects today’s global English with definitions that people can understand and use every day.

The Encarta World English Dictionary has been a wonderful reference tool for my students at school, and now with online availability it will be even more accessible to more people,” said Susan Meyers, English teacher at Rantoul High School in Rantoul, Illinois. “Anyone can use it as a resource. Everyone from students to professionals are working online now, so having this dictionary at their fingertips will make work even easier.”

“The Encarta brand is synonymous with learning, and we’re continuing our long-standing commitment to making Encarta Online an authoritative and trusted resource that people can go to for information,” said Bartholomew. “The addition of this dictionary helps us continue to fulfill that promise.”

The CD-ROM version of the dictionary is also available in the U.S. for $34.95 with a $20 mail-in rebate and in Canada for $59.95 with a $30 mail-in rebate. It provides integrated access to five other reference works: the Original Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases, the Encarta Book of Quotations, the Encarta Manual of Style and Usage, the Encarta 2000 Almanac, and the Microsoft Press Computer and Internet Dictionary.

Source: Microsoft Corp., Redmond, WA, 800/426-9400;

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