MS Publishes Free Online Encarta Dictionary

LONDON (03/17/2000) - The online dictionary market will soon face new competition with word today that Microsoft Corp. will launch a free online version of its Encarta World English Dictionary beginning next month.

The announcement comes just days after Oxford University Press announced the launch of its own Oxford English Dictionary (OED) online. The OED however, will be a fee-based model, charging U.S. users an annual fee of US $550 for access.

[See "Oxford English Dictionary Defines Online," March 14,]The Encarta dictionary, available starting April 17, will include audio pronunciations of words as well as standard dictionary definitions. Encarta was initially created with help from the Internet, Microsoft said in a statement.

The dictionary will be available on the Web at http://www.encarta.com/.

Microsoft will continue to sell the Encarta dictionary on CD-ROM for $39.95 in the U.S. and $59.95 in Canada, with $20 and $30 mail-in rebates respectively.

Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, can be reached at +1-425-882-8080 or at http://www.microsoft.com/.

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