Microsoft Encarta was a digital multimedia encyclopedia published by Microsoft Corporation from 1993 to 2009. Originally sold on CD-ROM or DVD, it was also later available on the World Wide Web via an annual subscription – although later many articles could also be viewed free online with advertisements. By 2008, the complete English version, Encarta Premium, consisted of more than 62,000 articles, numerous photos and illustrations, music clips, videos, interactive content, timelines, maps, atlases and homework tools.
Microsoft published similar encyclopedias under the Encarta trademark in various languages, including German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese and Japanese. Localized versions contained contents licensed from national sources and more or less content than the full English version. For example, the Dutch version had content from the Dutch Winkler Prins encyclopedia.
In March 2009, Microsoft announced it was discontinuing both the Encarta disc and online versions. The MSN Encarta site was closed on October 31, 2009 in all countries except Japan, where it was closed on December 31, 2009. Microsoft continued to operate the Encarta online dictionary until 2011.
Encarta Premium 2008 on Windows Vista
2009 / August 2008
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|License||Proprietary commercial software|
|Website||Formerly encarta.msn.com at the Wayback Machine (archived October 31, 2009)|
After the successes of Compton's Multimedia Encyclopedia (1989) and The New Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia (1992), Microsoft initiated Encarta, under the internal codename "Gandalf", by purchasing non-exclusive rights to the Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia, incorporating it into its first edition in 1993. (Funk & Wagnalls continued to publish revised editions for several years independently of Encarta, but then ceased printing in the late 1990s.)
The name Encarta was created for Microsoft by an advertising agency and launched in 1993 as a $395 product, although it soon dropped to $99, and was often bundled into the price of a new computer purchase.
In the late 1990s, Microsoft added content from Collier's Encyclopedia and New Merit Scholar's Encyclopedia from Macmillan into Encarta after purchasing them. Thus the final Microsoft Encarta can be considered the successor of the Funk and Wagnalls, Collier, and New Merit Scholar encyclopedias. None of these formerly successful encyclopedias remained in print for long after being merged into Encarta.
Microsoft introduced several regional versions of Encarta translated into languages other than English. For example, the Brazilian Portuguese version was introduced in 1999 and suspended in 2002. The Spanish version was somewhat smaller than the English one, at 42,000 articles.
In July 2006, Websters Multimedia, a Bellevue, Washington subsidiary of London-based Websters International Publishers, took over maintenance of Encarta from Microsoft. The last version was Encarta Premium 2009, released in August 2008.
Microsoft announced in April 2009 that it would cease to sell Microsoft Student and all editions of Encarta Premium software products worldwide by June 2009, citing changes in the way people seek information, and in the traditional encyclopedia and reference material market, as the key reasons behind the termination. Updates for Encarta were offered until October 2009. Additionally, MSN Encarta web sites were discontinued around October 31, 2009, with the exception of Encarta Japan which was discontinued on December 31, 2009. Existing MSN Encarta Premium (part of MSN Premium) subscribers were refunded.
The demise of Encarta was widely attributed to competition from the free and user-generated Wikipedia, which, from small beginnings in 2001, grew to be larger than Encarta, thanks to popularization by web search services like Google. By the time of the announcement of its closure in April 2009, Encarta had about 62,000 articles, most behind a paywall, while the English Wikipedia had over 2.8 million articles in open access.
Encarta's standard edition included approximately 50,000 articles, with additional images, videos and sounds. The premium editions contained over 62,000 articles and other multimedia content, such as 25,000 pictures and illustrations, over 300 videos and animations, and an interactive atlas with 1.8 million locations. Its articles were integrated with multimedia content and could include links to websites selected by its editors. Encarta's articles in general were less lengthy and more summarized than the printed version of Encyclopædia Britannica or the online Wikipedia. Like most multimedia encyclopedias, Encarta's articles tended to provide an overview of the subject rather than an exhaustive coverage and can only be viewed one at a time.
A sidebar could display alternative views, essays, journals or original materials relevant to the topic. For example, when reading about computers, it featured annals since 1967 of the computer industry. Encarta also supported closed captioning for the hearing impaired. A separate program, called Encarta Research Organizer was included in early versions for gathering and organizing information and constructing a Word document-based report. Later versions included Encarta Researcher, a browser plugin to organize information from Encarta articles and web pages into research projects. Content copied from Encarta was appended with a copyright boilerplate message after the selection. The user interface allowed for viewing content with only images, videos, sounds, animations, 360-degree views, virtual tours, charts and tables or only interactives.
Encarta 2000 and later had "Map Treks", which were tours of geographic features and concepts. Microsoft had a separate product known as Encarta Africana which was an encyclopedia of black history and culture. It was integrated into the standard Encarta Reference suite starting with the 2001 version. Encarta 2002 and onward feature 3D Virtual Tours of ancient structures, for example the Acropolis; 2D panoramic images of world wonders or major cities; and a virtual flight feature which allows users to fly a virtual airplane over a coarsely generated artificial landscape area. Version 2002 also introduced the ability to install the entire encyclopedia locally to the hard disk drive to prevent frequent swapping of discs.
Encarta 2003 incorporated literature guides and book summaries, foreign language translation dictionaries, a Homework Center and Chart Maker. Encarta's Visual Browser, available since the 2004 version, presented a user with a list of related topics making them more discoverable. A collection of 32 Discovery Channel videos were also later added. Encarta 2005 introduced another program called Encarta Kids aimed at children to make learning fun.
Encarta also included a trivia game called "MindMaze" (accessible through Ctrl+Z) in which the player explores a castle by answering questions whose answers can be found in the encyclopedia's articles. There was also a "Geography Quiz" and several other games and quizzes, some quizzes also in Encarta Kids.
For years, Encarta came in three primary software editions: Standard, Premium, and Reference Library (price and features in that order). Beginning with Encarta 2006, however, when Websters Multimedia took over its maintenance, Encarta became a feature of Microsoft Student. Although it was possible to purchase only the Encarta encyclopedia separately, Microsoft Student bundles together Encarta Premium with Microsoft Math (a graphing-calculator program) and Learning Essentials, which provides templates for Microsoft Office. In addition, the Reference Library was discontinued, absorbed into a newer, more comprehensive Premium package. Encarta's user interface was shared with Microsoft Student, and was streamlined to reduce clutter with only a Search box which returned relevant results; however it became no longer possible to simply browse all the encyclopedia articles alphabetically.
The dynamic maps were generated with the same engine that powered Microsoft MapPoint software. The map was a virtual globe that one could freely rotate and magnify to any location down to major streets for big cities. The globe had multiple surfaces displaying political boundaries, physical landmarks, historical maps and statistical information. One could selectively display statistical values on the globe surface or in a tabular form, different sized cities, various geological or man-made features and reference lines in a map.
The maps contained hyperlinks to related articles ("Map Trek") and also supported a "Dynamic Sensor" that provides the latitude, longitude, place name, population and local time for any point on the globe. Encarta also generated a visible-light moon atlas with names of major craters and hyperlinks. However, it did not include a planetarium, but instead had a small interactive constellation-only map.
In addition to database generated maps, many other illustrative maps in Encarta ("Historical Maps") were drawn by artists. Some more advanced maps were interactive: for example, the large African map for Africana could display information such as political boundaries or the distribution of African flora.
When Encarta was released as part of the "Reference Suite" in 1998 to 2000, Microsoft bundled "Microsoft Bookshelf" with the other programs (Encarta Encyclopedia 98 Deluxe Edition, Encarta Desk Atlas, Encarta Virtual Globe 98, Encarta World English Dictionary, and Encarta Research Organizer).
"Bookshelf" was discontinued in 2000, and in later Encarta editions (Encarta Suite 2000 and onward), "Bookshelf" was replaced with a dedicated Encarta Dictionary, a superset of its printed version, The Encarta World English Dictionary (later Encarta Webster's Dictionary).
There was some controversy over the decision, since the dictionary lacks the other books provided in "Bookshelf" which many found to be a useful reference, such as Columbia Dictionary of Quotations (replaced with a quotations section in Encarta that links to relevant articles and people) and an Internet Directory (although many of the sites listed in offline directories no longer exist).
Print versions of Encarta dictionaries has also been published, including:
Robert McHenry, while Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopædia Britannica, criticized Encarta for differences in factual content between national versions of Encarta, accusing Microsoft of "pandering to local prejudices" instead of presenting subjects objectively. An article written by Bill Gates addressed the nature of writing encyclopedias for different regions.
Before the emergence of the World Wide Web for information browsing, Microsoft recognized the importance of having an engine that supported a multimedia markup language, full text search, and extensibility using software objects. The hypertext display, hyperlinking and search software was created by a team of CD-ROM Division developers in the late 1980s who designed it as a generalized engine for uses as diverse as interactive help, document management systems and as ambitious as a multimedia encyclopedia.
Encarta was able to use various Microsoft technologies because it was extensible with software components for displaying unique types of multimedia information. For example, a snap in map engine is adapted from its MapPoint software. The hypertext and search engine used by Encarta also powered Microsoft Bookshelf.
Encarta used database technologies to generate much of its multimedia content. For example, Encarta generated each zoomable map from a global geographic information system database on demand.
Early in 2005, Gary Alt announced that the online Encarta started to allow users to suggest changes to existing articles.
Encarta's content was accessible using a conversational interface on Windows Live Messenger via the MSN Bot "Encarta Instant Answers". The bot could answer many encyclopedia related questions directly in the IM window. It used short sentences from the Encarta website, and sometimes displays full articles in the Internet Explorer-based browser on the right. It also could complete simple mathematical and advanced algebra problems. This service was also available in German, Spanish, French and Japanese.
Each summer (in the Northern hemisphere) or winter (in the Southern hemisphere), Microsoft published a new version of Encarta. However, despite the inclusion of news-related and some supplementary articles, Encarta's contents had not been changed substantially in its later years. Besides the yearly update, the installed offline copy could be updated over the Internet for a certain period for free depending on the edition. Some articles (usually about 2,000) were updated to reflect important changes or events. When the update period expired, an advertisement prompting to upgrade to the new version was displayed to the user occasionally.
Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia now comes in two versions: the award-winning Encarta 97 Encyclopedia on a single compact disc, and the new two-CD Encarta 97 Encyclopedia, Deluxe Edition.
The Encarta Reference Library 2003 five-disc CD-ROM and single-disk DVD have an estimated retail price** of $74.95 (U.S.) before a $10 (U.S.) mail-in rebate.
For pure reference, Packard Bell is providing ``Microsoft(R) Encarta(TM) '95,
Articles of Faith was a Chicago-based hardcore punk band originally active between 1981 and 1985. The band's later work is credited with superior songwriting and with foreshadowing the emo sound. Originally a Springsteen/Clash cover band called Direct Drive, the group changed both its music and name after frontman Vic Bondi visited Washington, D.C. in 1981 and saw a Bad Brains show that he describes as an “epiphany.” AoF typically showed funk, reggae and jazz influences, accompanied by lyrics bemoaning the difficulty of finding freedom and fulfillment in consumer society. While the band's influence was blunted by being based in Chicago, it maintained close musical and thematic ties to the Washington DC / Dischord Records scene. Drummer Bill Richman (a.k.a. “Virus X”), a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party briefly left the band in 1984 due to the waning of the band's political emphasis; he returned later to record In This Life. Bondi had already left Chicago by the time AoF disbanded in 1985; In This Life was issued two years later. The original lineup reunited for a European tour in 1991. The final show of this tour was recorded and issued as part of the Your Choice Live series.
Frontman Vic Bondi was originally a protest singer with decidedly leftist views. He went on to form Alloy, and Jones Very after AoF's demise. At the time of AoF's original breakup Bondi was working as a history instructor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Bondi's subsequent day jobs included working on Microsoft's Encarta as managing editor of the Encarta Interactive English Learning edition (Bondi's ironic take on his software career can be found here). Bondi resurfaced with another politically charged band, Report Suspicious Activity in 2006, and was featured prominently in the documentaries American Hardcore and You Weren't There.
In 2010, Articles of Faith reunited for an appearance at Riot Fest in Chicago and recorded a new EP.Campaigns of 1792 in the French Revolutionary Wars
The French Revolutionary Wars began in April 1792.Chris Economaki
Christopher "Chris" Constantine Economaki (October 15, 1920 – September 28, 2012) was an American motorsports commentator, pit road reporter, and journalist. Economaki was given the title "The Dean of American Motorsports Journalism." Microsoft chose Economaki to author the auto racing history portion of its Encarta Encyclopedia.Encarta Webster's Dictionary
The Encarta Webster's Dictionary of the English Language (2004) is the second edition of the Encarta World English Dictionary, published in 1999 (Anne Soukhanov, editor). Slightly larger than a college dictionary, it is similar in appearance and scope to the American Heritage Dictionary, which Soukhanov previously edited. Created using the Bloomsbury dictionary database, it draws on English as it is spoken in all parts of the English-speaking world.
A distinctive feature of the dictionary is the abbreviated definitions, highlighted prior to the full definition, for a quick glance meaning or to identify the sense being sought.
The Encarta name is also used for the abbreviated college dictionary editions.Gouache
Gouache (; French: [ɡwaʃ]), body color, or opaque watercolor, is one type of watermedia, paint consisting of natural pigment, water, a binding agent (usually gum arabic or dextrin), and sometimes additional inert material. Gouache is designed to be used with opaque methods of painting. Gouache has a considerable history, going back over 600 years. It is used most consistently by commercial artists for posters, illustrations, comics, and other design work.
Gouache is similar to watercolor in that it can be re-wetted, it dries to a matte finish, and the paint can become infused with its paper support. It is similar to acrylic or oil paints in that it is normally used in an opaque painting style and it can form a superficial layer. Many manufacturers of watercolor paints also produce gouache, and the two can easily be used together.Groundscraper
A groundscraper is a large building that is only around a dozen stories high but which greatly extends horizontally.Histeridae
Histeridae is a family of beetles commonly known as Clown beetles or Hister beetles. This very diverse group of beetles contains 3,900 species found worldwide. They can be easily identified by their shortened elytra that leaves two of the seven tergites exposed, and their elbowed antennae with clubbed ends. These predatory feeders are most active at night and will fake death if they feel threatened. This family of beetles will occupy almost any kind of niche throughout the world. Hister beetles have proved useful during forensic investigations to help in time of death estimation. Also, certain species are used in the control of livestock pests that infest dung and to control houseflies. Because they are predacious and will even eat other Hister beetles, they must be isolated when collected.List of state and territory name etymologies of the United States
The fifty U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the five inhabited territories have taken their names from a wide variety of languages. The names of 24 states are arranged alphabetically and derive from indigenous languages of the Americas and one from Hawaiian: eight come from Algonquian languages, seven from Siouan languages (one of those by way of Illinois, an Algonquian language), three from Iroquoian languages, one from a Uto-Aztecan language, and five from other Native American languages.
Twenty-two other state names derive from European languages: seven come from Latin (mostly from Latinate forms of English personal names, one coming from Welsh), five come from English, five come from Spanish (and one more from an Indigenous language by way of Spanish), and four come from French (one of these by way of English). The etymologies of six states are disputed or unclear: Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Oregon, and Rhode Island (in the table below, those states have one row for each potential source language or meaning).
Of the fifty states, eleven are named after an individual person. Of those eleven, seven are named in honor of European monarchs: the two Carolinas, the two Virginias, Maryland, Louisiana and Georgia. Over the years, several attempts have been made to name a state after one of the Founding fathers or other great statesmen of U.S. history: the State of Franklin, the State of Jefferson (three separate attempts), the State of Lincoln (two separate attempts), and the State of Washington; in the end, only Washington materialized (Washington Territory was carved out of the Columbia District, and was renamed Washington in order to avoid confusion with the District of Columbia, which contains the city of Washington).Several of the states that derive their names from (corrupted) names used for Native peoples have retained the plural ending of "s": Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts and Texas. One common naming pattern has been as follows:
Native tribal group → River → Territory → StateMicrosoft Bookshelf
Microsoft Bookshelf was a reference collection introduced in 1987 as part of Microsoft's extensive work in promoting CD-ROM technology as a distribution medium for electronic publishing. The original MS-DOS version showcased the massive storage capacity of CD-ROM technology, and was accessed while the user was using one of 13 different word processor programs that Bookshelf supported. Subsequent versions were produced for Windows and became a commercial success as part of the Microsoft Home brand. It was often bundled with personal computers as a cheaper alternative to the Encarta Suite. The Encarta Deluxe Suite / Reference Library versions also bundled Bookshelf.Microsoft Mathematics
Microsoft Maths also known as Microsoft Mathematics is a freely downloadable educational program, designed for Microsoft Windows, that allows users to solve math and science problems. Developed and maintained by Microsoft, it is primarily targeted at students as a learning tool.A related freeware add-in, called Microsoft Mathematics Add-In for Word and OneNote, is also available from Microsoft and offers comparable functionality (Word 2007 or higher is required).Microsoft Math has received 2008 Award of Excellence from Tech & Learning Magazine.Microsoft Office 98 Macintosh Edition
Microsoft Office 98 Macintosh Edition is a version of Microsoft Office for the classic Mac OS, unveiled at Macworld Expo/San Francisco on January 6, 1998. It introduced the Internet Explorer 4.0 browser and Outlook Express, an Internet e-mail client and usenet newsgroup reader. Office 98 was re-engineered by Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit to satisfy customers' desire for more Mac-like software.
There are two editions of Office 98: Gold and Standard.It included drag-and-drop installation, self-repairing applications and Quick Thesaurus, before such features were available in a version of Office for Windows. It also was the first version to support QuickTime movies. The applications in Microsoft Office 98 were:
Microsoft PowerPoint 98
Microsoft Word 98
Microsoft Excel 98
Outlook Express 4.0
Internet Explorer 4.0Another rare edition of Microsoft Office 98 Macintosh Edition was published titled: "Microsoft Office 98 Macintosh Gold Edition." This version included everything the normal version included plus Microsoft FrontPage Version 1.0 for Macintosh, Microsoft Bookshelf 98 reference software, and Microsoft Encarta 98 Macintosh Deluxe Edition.Microsoft Student
Microsoft Student is a discontinued application from Microsoft designed to help students in schoolwork and homework. It included Encarta, as well as several student-exclusive tools such as additional Microsoft Office templates (called Learning Essentials) and integration with other Microsoft applications, like Microsoft Word. An example of that is data citations, Encarta dictionary and research Encarta features, which are available in a toolbar in Word.
The product also included Microsoft Math, language and literature resources (book summaries), and research tools (such as access to an online version of Encarta). Student 2006 was the first version of the product and a new version was produced by Microsoft every year until 2009.
Microsoft announced in March 2009 that they will cease to sell Microsoft Student and all editions of the Encarta encyclopedia by June 2009, citing changes in the way people seek information and in the traditional encyclopedia and reference material market as the key reasons behind the termination. Encarta's closing is widely attributed to competition from the larger online encyclopedia Wikipedia.Microsoft Works
Microsoft Works was a productivity software suite developed by Microsoft, sold from 1987 to 2009. Its core functionality included a word processor, a spreadsheet and a database management system. Later versions had a calendar application and a dictionary while older releases included a terminal emulator. Works was available as a standalone program, and as part of a namesake home productivity suite. Because of its low cost ($40 retail, or as low as $2 OEM), companies frequently pre-installed Works on their low-cost machines. Works was smaller, less expensive, and had fewer features than Microsoft Office and other major office suites available at the time.Music of Chad
Chad is an ethnically diverse Central African country in Africa. Each of its regions has its own unique varieties of music and dance. The Fulani people, for example, use single-reeded flutes, while the ancient griot tradition uses five-string kinde and various kinds of horns, and the Tibesti region uses lutes and fiddles. Musical ensembles playing horns and trumpets such as the long royal trumpets known as "waza" or "kakaki" are used in coronations and other upper-class ceremonies throughout both Chad and Sudan.
The national anthem of Chad is "La Tchadienne," written in 1960 by Paul Villard and Louis Gidrol with help from Gidrol's student group.Music of Moldova
Moldovan music is closely related to that of its neighbour and cultural kin, Romania. Moldovan folk is known for swift, complex rhythms (a characteristic shared with many Eastern European traditions), musical improvisation, syncopation and much melodic ornamentation. Pop, hip hop, rock and other modern genres have their own fans in Moldova as well. Modern pop stars include O-Zone, a Romanian and Moldovan band whose "Dragostea din tei" was a major 2004 European hit, guitarist and songwriter Vladimir Pogrebniuc, Natalia Barbu, who is well known in Germany, Romania and Ukraine, and Nelly Ciobanu. The band Flacai became well known in the 1970s across Moldova, turning their hometown of Cahul into an important center of music.Racial integration
Racial integration, or simply integration, includes desegregation (the process of ending systematic racial segregation). In addition to desegregation, integration includes goals such as leveling barriers to association, creating equal opportunity regardless of race, and the development of a culture that draws on diverse traditions, rather than merely bringing a racial minority into the majority culture. Desegregation is largely a legal matter, integration largely a social one.Star Trek fan productions
Star Trek fan productions are productions made by fans using elements of the Star Trek franchise. Paramount Pictures, CBS, and their licensees are the only organizations legally allowed to create commercial products with the Star Trek name and trademark. The fan film community has received some coverage from the mainstream media.Steven L. Kent
Steven L. Kent (born August 28, 1960), son of woodworker Ron Kent, is an American writer, known for both video game journalism and military science fiction novels. In the year 1993, Steven started work as a freelance journalist, writing monthly video game reviews for the Seattle Times. He eventually became a contributor to such video game publications as Electronic Games, Next Generation, and Computer Entertainment News, as well as such mainstream publications as Parade, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, MSNBC, the Japan Times, and the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. He also wrote entries on video games for Encarta and the Encyclopedia Americana.
In 2005, Steve announced that he would concentrate on writing novels. In 2006, he published The Clone Republic and Rogue Clone. In 2007, he published The Clone Alliance.Kent received a B.A. in 1986 and an M.A. in 1990, both from Brigham Young University.Virtual globe
A virtual globe is a three-dimensional (3D) software model or representation of the Earth or another world. A virtual globe provides the user with the ability to freely move around in the virtual environment by changing the viewing angle and position. Compared to a conventional globe, virtual globes have the additional capability of representing many different views on the surface of the Earth. These views may be of geographical features, man-made features such as roads and buildings, or abstract representations of demographic quantities such as population.
On November 20, 1997, Microsoft released an offline virtual globe in the form of Encarta Virtual Globe 98, followed by Cosmi's 3D World Atlas in 1999. The first widely publicized online virtual globes were NASA World Wind (released in mid-2004) and Google Earth (mid-2005).
MSN software and services
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