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list($34.99)
1. Encarta Deluxe Encyclopedia 2004
$29.99 $18.43
2. WorldBook Encyclopedia 2005 (2
$19.99 $0.99 list($29.99)
3. World Book Encyclopedia 2004 Edition
$9.99 list($69.95)
4. Encarta Reference Library 2004
$26.95 list($54.99)
5. Encyclopedia Britannica 2004 Ultimate
$19.99 $18.99
6. Caillou Kindergarten
$14.00 list($34.99)
7. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004
$18.70 list($29.99)
8. Instant Immersion Language Lab
$39.99 list($69.95)
9. Encarta Reference Library 2004
$36.99 list($69.99)
10. Encarta Reference Library 2004
$21.48 list($54.99)
11. Encyclopedia Britannica 2004 Ultimate
$9.99 $6.22
12. My Body Myself (Jewel Case)
$9.99 $4.74
13. Encylopedia Britannica Profiles:
$23.99 $11.75 list($24.99)
14. Webster's Millennium Discovering
$19.99 $19.84
15. The Teachings of Jesus (Large
$8.99
16. Eyewitness Children's Encyclopedia
$9.70
17. Discovering Egypt (4 CD-ROM)
18. Eyewitness History Of The World
$11.76 list($24.99)
19. Webster's Millennium Discovering
$8.40 list($39.95)
20. Eyewitness Children's Encyclopedia

1. Encarta Deluxe Encyclopedia 2004
list price: $34.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000096L6V
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 2938
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but better Encarta Reference Library
It is better to buy Encarta Reference Library, because it has more text and features (Atlas and so on). I have reviewed it if you want extra information. The system requirements are about the same.

3-0 out of 5 stars Reference resource
Encarta allows students to retrieve current information on thousands of topics. The reference tools are great for research papers and slide show presentations. Students can cross-reference the Internet with little effort. As well as, export information into Word and Power Point.
The software delivers reliable content through multimedia, articles, web links, images and maps. And still yet, information is given on sidebars and timelines throughout. Encarta allows students to access up to date reference materials with ease. Microsoft updates the software automatically to keep information accurate.
I feel that Encarta is one resource every secondary level classroom should have and utilize.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pay attention to what you purchase
There is no doubt that the [$] price is a good incentive to give Encarta Deluxe 2004 a try. Before you do spend a bit of time examining all the available encyclopedias and most important put time into figuring who will be the primary user. If research and detail is required consider spending a few dollars more and getting the Encarta 2004 Reference Library or consider Encyclopedia Britanica; possibly even World Book.

I mention this because Encarta does a reasonable job as an encyclopedia but as others have discussed, is brief to the point of being unsatisfying. Where Encarta makes up for the lack of detailed text is in it's multimedia content and interface.

Microsoft has done a fine job of making a Encyclopedia for the casual user and has outdone itself in areas like interactive tours. The good side of brevity is the way Encarta holds one's interest without being terribly challenging. For middle school students Encarta Deluxe 2004 is a good choice as it makes learning fun. It's negative side is important as well. Compared to Encyclopedia Britanica the articles are too brief and simply lacking for adult content. Users from High School Juniors through University students will need more details not to be found in Encarta or it's additonal web content. The links, however, are substantial and useful to those of all age and learning styles.

In conclusion, Encarta Deluxe 2004 is fun to browse and is engaging in a way Britanica is not. If you are a visually oriented user that doesn't need adult level discourse or the sometimes stuffy writing style found in Britanica. if you enjoy tooling around 2D and 3D areas of importance then Encarta is your encyclopedia.

5-0 out of 5 stars My Teen Loves It As Much As I Do!
My 10th grader wanted an update on our Encarta 2000 and I noticed that the Encarta Deluxe Edition 2004 was available from Amazon for under $20 after rebates. What a deal! This is a great reference source featuring panoramic location photos, instant bar graph country comparisons and loads of historical information. It sure beats paying hundreds of dollars for a set of dust collecting book encyclopedias and it is a heck of a lot quicker than spending hours surfing the net for basic research and background information. Microsoft uses the Collier encyclopedia for much of the information. Encarta also has a search engine feature which accesses the internet for the most current information on a topic. Old newspaper articles and other sources are also available when relevant. All and all, this is a solid product and a great value worthy of your consideration. ... Read more


2. WorldBook Encyclopedia 2005 (2 CD Set)
list price: $29.99
our price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00032IYDK
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 1430
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

3. World Book Encyclopedia 2004 Edition
list price: $29.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000ALSKP
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 198
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Encyclopedia
I can't believe this Encyclopedia is so inexpensive. It is truly excellent. I bought this for my 4th grader and it has a ton of stuff to help students. There are tools to help with report writing, a "How to study" cd, "sticky notes" you can use to put notes into articles, an integrated dictionary... Well, you can read the list of features in the product description.

I really like that this encyclopedia is so easy to use. I like it much better than Encarta. The articles seem better, with more information than Encarta, too. The installation lets you copy the entire contents of disk 1 to hard drive (~700mb). After that, you only have to insert the second encyclopedia disk if you select something that requires it.

The "Surf the ages" feature is pretty cool. You get a webpage of news from assorted dates in history. I think my son will have a lot of fun with this since he is a history buff. There is also a monthly info summary (can't remember the exact name), but it gives you a single page with a lot of information relating to all kinds of stuff.

My son is doing a report on Thomas Edison for school. I looked him up and got a timeline of his life, a lengthy article on him with all kinds of references to areas of science and technology he influenced.

I then downloaded article updates off the web. There was one about recent Supreme Court rulings related to Affirmative Action. I followed that link, started reading the article and then followed another link into an entire history of african-americans.

There is a wealth of information in this encyclopedia and it is very easy to access. If you have kids, this is the encyclopedia to buy. The ability to easily cross-reference topics and follow links to get more in-depth info on any topic is awesome. ... Read more


4. Encarta Reference Library 2004 DVD
list price: $69.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000096L6Z
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 2132
Average Customer Review: 3.57 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Encarta 2004 versus Britannica 2004
I have bought both Encarta and Britannica for years (EB in printed edition too: 32 volumes, 32.000 sheets). This is my opinion in brief: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) makes interesting to buy both.
TEXT: Britannica is a superb encyclopedia in text (not in visual aid) since 1768 (you know: an article by Einstein and so on...). Text in electronic version differs from printed encyclopedia (very large articles have been shortened). Britannica claims that it has more items than Encarta, but this is a joke: articles like "Mexico" are only one (with a lot of subdivisions) in Encarta, while in Britannica subdivisions are unconnected, and you must "jump" from one subdivision to another, which is slow and very annoying, especially if you want to copy it in "WORD". Very often, the text is not updated.
In the other hand, Encarta's text is not bad at all. Most articles have the name of their contributors (professions, works...): They are not John Doe. You can find large fragments of literary works, literature guides, a lot of sidebars and thousands of quotations. "Encarta Africana" is included. The Pop-Up (double clicking a word) Dictionary and Thesaurus has sound for correct pronunciation (by the way, it can read aloud, with a robotic and ugly voice, a whole article). The "Translation Dictionaries" to Spanish, French, German and Italian must be improved, because they are minimal. It gives you a lot of "Internet links", even if you are not connected. With Britannica you must be "on-line" and it searches in an EB Web page.
In theory you can update Britannica over the Internet free for a year quarterly (4 times), but this does not work: You can not find new files. Encarta can be updated free EVERY WEEK with new articles and additions or corrections to the old ones (till October 2004). With Encarta updating really works. Technically, is amazing to see the changes in old items.
ATLAS Britannica has not a real atlas; only a worlds map whose maximum detail is the States of USA. Statistics are very poor. Encarta's Atlas is like another encyclopedia, with a great detail (1 cm/ 4 km all over the world) and 20 types of atlas presentations (statistical ones can be counted by dozens). If you look a geographical article (city, river...) you can see in a corner where it is placed and, with only a click, open the atlas. In articles of cities, if you are on-line, you can see in another corner the weather of this place in that moment. If it is a USA place, you can read the latest news.
MULTIMEDIA: They say that "serious" or "adult" readers do not care about "pictures"; that multimedia is only for kids. I do not agree, because I think that, sometimes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Works of art, anatomy, historical maps, diagrams ... Encarta devastates Britannica with a lot of photos, paintings, drawings, charts & tables, animations, interactivities, videos, music and sounds, pictures, 2-D and 3-D virtual tours, 360-degrees views, timeline, games... It is not only the quantity and quality. It is the easy access you have to all the multimedia, and that text and multimedia are fully integrated. Britannica is not really multimedia. It has photos and videos, but they make the program slow and sluggish. They should edit an alternative version with only text, as they did with the first edition in 1995. It worked fast and easy in old computers.
INTERFACE AND PERFORMANCE: This is the worst side of Britannica. With Encarta you only have to type a word or the beginning of a word to see all the articles and multimedia that contain it. If Encarta does not find anything, it gives you automatically alternative spellings. Even if you write the name of a small village lost in any country, you see it in the atlas. If you need to copy text or pictures, the integration with Microsoft WORD is perfect. It has additional ways to find content, including subject or multimedia browsing, "related articles" and the standard A-Z method. The "Research Organizer" is very helpful too. Encarta's TEXT FONT is very clear (Britannica's...) and you can choose 3 sizes.
Navigating with Britannica is different. 2004 edition is better than 2003 one, but still it is disappointing. I will only give you an example: if you do not know the exact and correct spelling of a name or word, it does not help you with similar spellings (unless you open a window and fight with it). As I said before, the program's performance speed is very slow and sluggish, and it must be dramatically improved. To go "back and forward" you do not find any icon and you need to open a "menu".... One "pro" for Britannica: they say it works with Macintosh.
I repeat my modest piece of advice: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) make interesting to buy both.

3-0 out of 5 stars Picture quality could be better
As usual, the DVD version is better than the CD version because you don't have to swap the disks. However, the picture quality of the photos, especially the 360 tour is the worst this year. Maybe Microsoft wanted to pack to much information into one DVD. Only 10 more video clips than last year and most are in poor resolution. With the development of so much technology applications, I would expect their product better each year.
Still, no homework help or research help for any foreign languages. The research organizer is a helpful tool but takes some time to learn how to use it. By joining the "Encarta Club", a free service online, you get to get access to Encarta's content anywhere in the world as long as you can get online, which is a pretty good feature. However, you must be a MSN passport member.

1-0 out of 5 stars Light on Content and Yet Still Biased
If you are looking for great presentation, lite content, and biased history, by all means by this product. I reviewed both Encarta and Britannica and found Britannica to more in depth and less biased in its history. Many of Brittanica's articles are by people Encarta only writes snippets about (i.e., you get their point of view not some political hack.) If you are looking for content and a fairer presentation of history buy Britannica.

2-0 out of 5 stars Don't buy for the dictionary...
First off, my primary reason for buying this product was the dictionary tool, so my review isn't exactly complete.

I've been using the dictionary and thesaurus tools in Reference Suite 2001 extensively since it's introduction - and it is, bar none, the best on the market. You can launch it with Windows at startup and have it run in the taskbar, because it uses little to no resources, and then it's always on demand in a flash. When the interface is open, your cursor is already where it needs to be and you can begin typing instantly. It's also quite smart, in regards to finding matches to a mistyped or misspelled word. If the program doesn't find a direct match to your input, it will display a list of words which it thinks are close, and 9 times out of time your word will be listed.

The same great attributes do not hold true for the dictionary and thesaurus tools in Reference Library 2004, however. While the interface does look much the same, that's about the only similarity. 2004 is a resource hog, for one. It's also not very intelligent. If you type a word in wrong, or are simply searching for the spelling of a word, you might as well dig out your paperback, because the paperback is going to be quicker to thumb through. Once one hits enter in 2004, if the program doesn't find an exact match, it automatically displays the first word that matches the first series of characters, beginning from left to right, as oppose to a list of words with simililarities. The real killer for me is in how slow it is to use. For instance, when you open or restore the program to the desktop, you have to navigate to the input box each and every time before you can begin typing. Therefore, if you're doing a lot of writing, and need to switch back and forth between programs, such as a word processor, these 2004 tools are a considerable hinrance, as one has to incessantly leave the keyboard to maneuver the mouse.

I bought 2004 thinking it was going to be a simple update, and perhaps even an upgrade, but instead received a semi-useless downgrade...

3-0 out of 5 stars Bintannica is better
Britannica has more information than Encarta. But Britannica has worse interface than Encarta.

If you want better contents, Britannica will be the one. Encarta has very little information on many different subjects. ... Read more


5. Encyclopedia Britannica 2004 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD
list price: $54.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000092P3Q
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Pearson Software
Sales Rank: 2767
Average Customer Review: 3.29 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Value
I recently aquired the 2004 version of the Ultimate Reference Suite and am very pleased (I skipped the 2003 version because of the negative reviews I read).

It is an excellent value with not only high quality content, but a lot of it (covering three age groups) and with many different points of entry and ways to access it.

I also applaud the new interface. While it is simple, it is also effective for that same reason. I like being able to view a lot of content at once, compare it, switch between it and organize it. The 2002 version seemed to be a poor attempt at imitating encarta.

I have had not any problems running the software on my Dell PC (and I have used the software quite a bit, already).

I recommend this product over all previous versions I have seen and over all competative software both for the content and the implementation and say well done to Britannica and Pearson.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow Britannica
I have been using the Britannica products for years and this is definitely the best version that they have produced.

Basics:
- Three complete (age specific) encyclopedias: In addition to the main encyclopedia, this product also includes, a complete Elementary encyclopedia, a complete Student encyclopedia, and ten years of Year Book articles (including recent topic coverage).
- Other (age specific) content: For each of these age groups the product also contains an Atlas feature (much improved than previous incarnations), a series of Timelines, Dictionary and Thesaurus (it appears that two versions of each are included, the primary difference seems to be the exclusion of 'bad words' from the Student and Elementary versions), and online content.
- Searching: The product does a simultaneous search across several content types (articles, images, video/media). Results are viewed by clicking on the content type. A link to on-line content is also included.
- Browsing: The product has additional ways to find content including subject browse (one for each encyclopedia), Yearbook and video browsing, Classic articles, and the standard A-Z method.
- Interface: The interface follows a very no nonsense approach to finding content, although, it has been improved in both appearance and function. It's a single screen system that allows you to see all the controls on part of the screen while opening, viewing and manipulating content in the larger work/article area. You select an age specific 'library' to work with and then search, browse, or open any of the features using simple, intuitive controls. The control area can even be adjusted to show more of less of the options you work with regularly. The work/article area allows you to view articles, media or other features that you choose from any of the libraries. You can have a lot content open at the same time and move the windows around to organize them.
- The articles: Articles are displayed very cleanly with much improved font handling and size controls. The navigation within the article is intuitive making them easy to read. You can find related content (images, tables, graphs, maps, etc.) or even other articles that are related in subject matter (using the index or a new feature that finds related people and places). There are embedded links, a built in dictionary (double click any word), Search term bolding, a new 'find' feature.
- Other features: The product contains a number of other useful features including a separate dictionary/thesaurus, a visual browser, a research organizer.

Improvements:
- Performance: I could not believe the improvements related to installation and start-up time, over all speed, and general stability. The product works fast and reliably. I have had many pieces of content open/active without a severe slow down.
- Articles: There are new ways to find related materials, the display is much improved, a new 'find' feature is available, the navigation is much more intuitive and natural, article text can be copy and pasted into other applications.
- Data: There are more types of content and more of each type of content (at least according to the materials supplied). New content includes classic articles, ten years of yearbook articles, new on-line content, etc. All features seem to be updated to include more content as well as more recent content (timelines include some events from 2003).
- Interface: - The interface has improved dramatically, it is intuitive and responsive. It includes many new features. Examples are mouse wheel support, article summaries that appear on mouse over, images that appear on mouse over, the ability to remember what I was doing in other libraries, etc.
- Video quality: The quality of the video is much better. They are about four times the size and can be scaled to any size you choose. There are also more of them.
- Browse features: There are new browse features in this years product including Classic articles, Yearbook articles, Subject/Topic listings, and a Media browse. It works better and includes time-saving improvements like an Auto-complete feature.
- Searching: All results are now in a single scrollable list, the results are more accurate, spell-checking is improved and happens automatically now, as needed. A search history is maintained, article titles can be auto-completed, and new advanced searching options have been added (for searching just titles, etc.)
- Display: The problems with last years font seems to be fixed, the overall appearance is greatly improved (it's visually appealing), library homepages have been added (includes tips and links to library features)
- Atlas: A new atlas that contains many more maps, country statistics and new features to allow for easy navigation.
- Bolding: You can choose to have all your search terms bolded in articles that you open.
- Pop-up dictionary: You can double click on any word to automatically see the dictionary definition.
- Configuration options: A number of user configuration options can now be permanently set. Includes items like font size, starting library, and term bolding.

Conclusion:
Even if Britannica was not the most reliable and definitive source of reference information on the planet - this is a superior product. It has an excellent design and approach to content access and management. It is genuinely useful and not simply some pretty showpiece that is difficult to navigate and use to any real end. The bottom line is that there is no real alternative on the market.

5-0 out of 5 stars Britannica 2004 versus Encarta 2004
I have bought both Encarta and Britannica for years (EB in printed edition too: 32 volumes, 32.000 sheets). This is my opinion in brief: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) makes interesting to buy both.
¿DVD or CD? Both editions are actually the same. You can copy them in your hard disk.
TEXT: Britannica is a superb encyclopedia in text (not in visual aid) since 1768 (you know: an article by Einstein and so on...). Text in electronic version differs from printed encyclopedia (very large articles have been shortened). Britannica claims that it has more items than Encarta, but this is a joke: articles like "Mexico" are only one (with a lot of subdivisions) in Encarta, while in Britannica subdivisions are unconnected, and you must "jump" from one subdivision to another, which is slow and very annoying, especially if you want to copy it in "WORD". Very often, the text is not updated.
In the other hand, Encarta's text is not bad at all. Most articles have the name of their contributors (professions, works...): They are not John Doe. You can find large fragments of literary works, literature guides, a lot of sidebars and thousands of quotations. "Encarta Africana" is included. The Pop-Up (double clicking a word) Dictionary and Thesaurus has sound for correct pronunciation (by the way, it can read aloud, with a robotic and ugly voice, a whole article). The "Translation Dictionaries" to Spanish, French, German and Italian must be improved, because they are minimal. It gives you a lot of "Internet links", even if you are not connected. With Britannica you must be "on-line" and it searches in an EB Web page.
In theory you can update Britannica over the Internet free for a year quarterly (4 times), but this does not work: You can not find new files. Encarta can be updated free EVERY WEEK with new articles and additions or corrections to the old ones (till October 2004). With Encarta updating really works. Technically, is amazing to see the changes in old items.
ATLAS Britannica has not a real atlas; only a worlds map whose maximum detail is the States of USA. Statistics are very poor. Encarta's Atlas is like another encyclopedia, with a great detail (1 cm/ 4 km all over the world) and 20 types of atlas presentations (statistical ones can be counted by dozens). If you look a geographical article (city, river...) you can see in a corner where it is placed and, with only a click, open the atlas. In articles of cities, if you are on-line, you can see in another corner the weather of this place in that moment. If it is a USA place, you can read the latest news.
MULTIMEDIA: They say that "serious" or "adult" readers do not care about "pictures"; that multimedia is only for kids. I do not agree, because I think that, sometimes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Works of art, anatomy, historical maps, diagrams ... Encarta devastates Britannica with a lot of photos, paintings, drawings, charts & tables, animations, interactivities, videos, music and sounds, pictures, 2-D and 3-D virtual tours, 360-degrees views, timeline, games... It is not only the quantity and quality. It is the easy access you have to all the multimedia, and that text and multimedia are fully integrated. Britannica is not really multimedia. It has photos and videos, but they make the program slow and sluggish. They should edit an alternative version with only text, as they did with the first edition in 1995. It worked fast and easy in old computers.
INTERFACE AND PERFORMANCE: This is the worst side of Britannica. With Encarta you only have to type a word or the beginning of a word to see all the articles and multimedia that contain it. If Encarta does not find anything, it gives you automatically alternative spellings. Even if you write the name of a small village lost in any country, you see it in the atlas. If you need to copy text or pictures, the integration with Microsoft WORD is perfect. It has additional ways to find content, including subject or multimedia browsing, "related articles" and the standard A-Z method. The "Research Organizer" is very helpful too. Encarta's TEXT FONT is very clear (Britannica's...) and you can choose 3 sizes.
Navigating with Britannica is different. 2004 edition is better than 2003 one, but still it is disappointing. I will only give you an example: if you do not know the exact and correct spelling of a name or word, it does not help you with similar spellings (unless you open a window and fight with it). As I said before, the program's performance speed is very slow and sluggish, and it must be dramatically improved. To go "back and forward" you do not find any icon and you need to open a "menu".... One "pro" for Britannica: they say it works with Macintosh.
I repeat my modest piece of advice: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) make interesting to buy both.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best encyclopedia for those who want to learn!
It is all around the best available encyclopedia. There are other, but Encarta represents exact Microsoft's incline to put in more buttons and few knowledge. This is not only the best encyclopedia but it is the best Britannica. The quality of materials you get in enormous. The cross-reference are logical and helpful, the article well written and intriguing. It appears to be Java app, so it runs smoothly on any platform. I have it on my lovely two Apple machines and could not be happier. Britannice made the real leap from 2003 release to this one.

3-0 out of 5 stars insightful articles, at times difficult and academic
It has some good articles... but at times it is hard to read, like a textbook written in greek, rather than in plain simple english.

also, while I was looking as Nash Solution in Game Theory, I found that the tables are missing! How could that be!

Then I joined the 90 day online trial, which required a credit card... depending on people to forget about the subscription and earn money from that... what a good and not so moral strategy... interestingly, the online content contains the missing tables... and it costs $25 per year. So it might be better just to subscribe to the online version, and be able to find articles any where you are with an online computer.

also the DVD-ROM version doesn't let you copy the whole article to Word or Notepad with ease. You need to do it screenful by screenful. The online version is just a webpage and allows easy copying to Word or Notepad. ... Read more


6. Caillou Kindergarten
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001GNGK4
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Brighter Child
Sales Rank: 1202
Average Customer Review: 1 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Fun games teach children about counting and numbers
  • Puzzles give children stronger thinking abilities
  • Expand your child's creative skills with Coloring & Creativity

Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars Multiple Problems
I got Caillou's Kindergarten for my daughter who will start kindergarten in the fall. There were multiple problems with the product. First, when you start the CD, the voice says "Welcome to Caillou's Preschool" (instead of Kindergarten) and then vocally gives options to select games about the alphabet, colors/shapes, and coloring. Yet, the actual options (the ones written on the screen) are for Caillou's Counting, Thinking Skills, and Coloring & Creativity Part 2. Nowhere on the CD can you select the options that were given vocally. I contacted the company and they said they will not fix the problem because it doesn't effect the game play. Yet it completely confuses the consumers since they can't choose the options mentioned. My daughter wanted to play the colors/shapes games, and no such games existed on the CD! I actually returned the product to get a replacement, thinking it was a bad disk, but the next CD had the exact same problems.

Additionally, the written menu said "Coloring & Creativity Part 2". There is no Part 1 on the CD, yet another confusing aspect. Also, there is only one game in that section, whereas the other two sections had numerous games to choose from, leaving the parent wondering if there were supposed to be more.

Only the Dad's voice is heard in the English version, a disappointment to those hoping to hear one of the many other characters speak. The designers of the software could have done so much more with this product but chose not to.

Finally, the product was way too easy for my daughter, who has not yet started kindergarten. This CD is much more appropriate for preschoolers. Overall, it is a poorly created, overpriced CD that I would not recommend to others. ... Read more


7. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
list price: $34.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AFX44
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Pearson Software
Sales Rank: 1816
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Vast, comprehensive multimedia reference work
  • Free updates for one year
  • Covers all areas of human knowledge
  • Research organization tools
  • 17,000 images plus audio and video

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Britannica 2004 versus Encarta 2004
I have bought both Encarta and Britannica for years (EB in printed edition too: 32 volumes, 32.000 sheets). This is my opinion in brief: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) makes interesting to buy both.
¿DVD or CD? Both editions are actually the same. You can copy them in your hard disk.
TEXT: Britannica is a superb encyclopedia in text (not in visual aid) since 1768 (you know: an article by Einstein and so on...). Text in electronic version differs from printed encyclopedia (very large articles have been shortened). Britannica claims that it has more items than Encarta, but this is a joke: articles like "Mexico" are only one (with a lot of subdivisions) in Encarta, while in Britannica subdivisions are unconnected, and you must "jump" from one subdivision to another, which is slow and very annoying, especially if you want to copy it in "WORD". Very often, the text is not updated.
In the other hand, Encarta's text is not bad at all. Most articles have the name of their contributors (professions, works...): They are not John Doe. You can find large fragments of literary works, literature guides, a lot of sidebars and thousands of quotations. "Encarta Africana" is included. The Pop-Up (double clicking a word) Dictionary and Thesaurus has sound for correct pronunciation (by the way, it can read aloud, with a robotic and ugly voice, a whole article). The "Translation Dictionaries" to Spanish, French, German and Italian must be improved, because they are minimal. It gives you a lot of "Internet links", even if you are not connected. With Britannica you must be "on-line" and it searches in an EB Web page.
In theory you can update Britannica over the Internet free for a year quarterly (4 times), but this does not work: You can not find new files. Encarta can be updated free EVERY WEEK with new articles and additions or corrections to the old ones (till October 2004). With Encarta updating really works. Technically, is amazing to see the changes in old items.
ATLAS Britannica has not a real atlas; only a worlds map whose maximum detail is the States of USA. Statistics are very poor. Encarta's Atlas is like another encyclopedia, with a great detail (1 cm/ 4 km all over the world) and 20 types of atlas presentations (statistical ones can be counted by dozens). If you look a geographical article (city, river...) you can see in a corner where it is placed and, with only a click, open the atlas. In articles of cities, if you are on-line, you can see in another corner the weather of this place in that moment. If it is a USA place, you can read the latest news.
MULTIMEDIA: They say that "serious" or "adult" readers do not care about "pictures"; that multimedia is only for kids. I do not agree, because I think that, sometimes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Works of art, anatomy, historical maps, diagrams ... Encarta devastates Britannica with a lot of photos, paintings, drawings, charts & tables, animations, interactivities, videos, music and sounds, pictures, 2-D and 3-D virtual tours, 360-degrees views, timeline, games... It is not only the quantity and quality. It is the easy access you have to all the multimedia, and that text and multimedia are fully integrated. Britannica is not really multimedia. It has photos and videos, but they make the program slow and sluggish. They should edit an alternative version with only text, as they did with the first edition in 1995. It worked fast and easy in old computers.
INTERFACE AND PERFORMANCE: This is the worst side of Britannica. With Encarta you only have to type a word or the beginning of a word to see all the articles and multimedia that contain it. If Encarta does not find anything, it gives you automatically alternative spellings. Even if you write the name of a small village lost in any country, you see it in the atlas. If you need to copy text or pictures, the integration with Microsoft WORD is perfect. It has additional ways to find content, including subject or multimedia browsing, "related articles" and the standard A-Z method. The "Research Organizer" is very helpful too. Encarta's TEXT FONT is very clear (Britannica's...) and you can choose 3 sizes.
Navigating with Britannica is different. 2004 edition is better than 2003 one, but still it is disappointing. I will only give you an example: if you do not know the exact and correct spelling of a name or word, it does not help you with similar spellings (unless you open a window and fight with it). As I said before, the program's performance speed is very slow and sluggish, and it must be dramatically improved. To go "back and forward" you do not find any icon and you need to open a "menu".... One "pro" for Britannica: they say it works with Macintosh.
I repeat my modest piece of advice: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) make interesting to buy both.

4-0 out of 5 stars Still one of the best sources for information
The title says it all. Encyclopeadia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition features the entire 33 volume books, additonal volumes starting at 1993, Webster's dictionary, theasaurus, articles from the people who made history including notibles like Albert Einstein, world maps and a functional interface that has some problems with the search function and being somewhat sluggish.

The critisism of old information may be true although I profess, I don't spend that much time focusing on one region of the world that changes incredibly quickly. Articles are in-depth and well notated. The language is at times almost poetic and on occasion technically intimidating. The difference between this and the more expensive version may help those of us that want to read about sub-atomic particles without needing to take notes. Yet this attention to detail is why Encyclopeadea Britanica is so world acclaimed. The information on complex subjects is written to the complexity of the subject. Read articles on domesticated house pets and you won't drown in a sea of formulae and densely written text. At it's best Encyclopadea Britannica brings new detail to the subject at hand. Looking over the word "drum" brought about a scholarly response with unexpected richness while at the other end of the spectrum was the Britannica's discussion on Zappa, Frank - typing it in as Frank Zappa gets you nowhere, the strict adherence of proper language important as the flowery prose written about the deceased Composer/Rock Star/Satirist. Zappa would be having a good laugh at the cereberal treatment of his work. Encyclopaedia Britannica takes itself seriously if not laboriously.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Ultimate Reference Suite may make some discussions a bit easier as there are three versions based on school age along with dictionary tools of similar age groupings. You get about 5000 extra multimedia elements which are probably interesting but hardly necessary. The reference suite seems age based in a completeist way.

Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition has the same tools as it's larger, higher priced version. It stays within the adult realm. This is a serious thing to consider as you are expected to have well rounded educational skills in this adult version. Having not used this software before it is hard to say the quality is better or worse than previous editions. The updates are generally dated at 2002 as are the Encarta discussions.

One major difference is getting to additional information. You get a full year's worth of content updates opposed to Encarta's fixed date of October 2004. You also are spared having to open an extra internet account (MSN) which Encarta asks of you. Premium services are available for 60 days with an offer to purchase an extra year of premium services at $25. This is slightly less than half price should you join Britannica's online service for 12 months. Again, with Encarta you must become a MSN user with a flat fee of $4.95 a month for their premium service which is often where the expanded content is.

Therefore, Encyclopaedia Britannica is a better value and doesn't tie you into propriatary services, a real disincentive when you have high speed access and are expected to pay for much of the depth of Encarta's information.

What you need to consider is:
1. how do you best learn? If it is visually then you may find Britannica to be a bit on the boring side. As one that enjoys visuals I can say I don't miss them in the face of so much inforation available within Encyclopaedia Britannica. But in terms of media and a fun quotient Encarta is hard to beat.
2. what education level are you comfortable learning in? Again, Encyclopaedia Britannica doesn't compromise much. There is more substance here but with the expectation you will put effort into checking areas you are unfamiliar with. This is very much a encyclopedia in the real sense of the word. But for the good cross reference tools and links to other sites you are reading a book, not "experiencing" information which is Encarta's strongest point and weakest point at once.
3. should you upgrade? Based on others who seem hell bent to pummel this excellent CD set it seems the answer is no. It may be better to stick with Britannica's web solution instead.

In conclusion, Encarta beats Britannica hands down in terms of interface, performance speed and colorful content. But Britannica's best suit is the addition of a theasauras, dictionary, world map, study tools and content. Britannica also has vastly more detail and articles, it's Year in Review books from 1993 to 2002 along with about the same up to date material as Encarta. In terms of comparing software it isn't fair to compair Encarta Deluxe with Britannica Deluxe, the amount of additional material in Britannica Deluxe compares favorably with Encarta Reference Library where again, Britannica wins in most every catagory of information.

I can't give Britannica five stars due to it's slower operation and less developed interface. Nor could I give it any less than 4 stars based on information and find it astonishing that reviewers here are so rough on this wonderful software. Should you want the best of both worlds I'd suggest both Britannica and Encarta but I would also warn you that Encarta Reference Library is the way to go as it is substantially more developed than Encarta Deluxe.

Of the two Britannica is the superior package, providing comprehensive knowledge is what you are looking for.

2-0 out of 5 stars NOT UPDATED - very outdated!
If you already have an older version of Britannica, do not waste your time and money with this product. It has much better interface than 2002 or 2003 version, but as compared with Encarta 2004 or Concise Britannica (2002) it is completely outdated!

Examples:

- Encarta 2004 and Concise Britannica say that Mobil and Exxon are former names (companies) and that the new company is named Exxon Mobil Corp. (since 1999). But Britannica 2004 (Deluxe) says Mobil and Exxon are still independent companies (the last date mentioned is 1972 for Exxon and 1988 for Mobil).

- Concise Britannica say that Merida, Mexico, had a population of 557,000 in 1990 (Encarta 2004: 705,000 in 2000). But Britannica 2004 (Deluxe) provides only an information for 1980(!) (i.e. 400,142)

- Another example of Britannica's outdatedness is a name of the French town of Chalons-sur-Marne: how is it possible that Britannica is the only major encyclopedia which still hasn't noticed that it was renamed Chalons-en-Champagne years ago (according to Hachette in 1995)?

Etc, etc. ... Read more


8. Instant Immersion Language Lab (8 CD-ROM)
list price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004TTU5
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 4080
Average Customer Review: 3.86 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Instant Immersion Language Lab includes eight full language-learning CD-ROMs in one package. The Talk Now! series is designed for beginners who want to start learning a new language as soon as possible. By hearing and practicing authentic everydayspeech, your natural language ability will develop. The World Talk programs take you to the next stage, offering added dictation, new activities, and a recording section. Topics covered include "the calendar," building sentences, asking directions, and using numbers. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazingly easy to learn French course
I never thought that Fench would be as easy as it is. Really amazing French course for novel people into that language. First step in learning. Great multimedia development, in order to improve pronuntiation. If this is your choice for your first French classes, you are right, this is the best choice.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good up until the 3rd CD
I've been working with the IM German now for some time (it's part of the 4 CD set). I had fun and learned at a faster pace with the first CD. The 2nd CD was quite a jump. I think you have to do a little studying on the outside before 'mastering' this CD. However! I tried out the Dictionary CD, and it is HORRIBLE!!! I've been studying German long enough now that the speaker isn't even pronouncing the words right. It sounds like someone reading the words for the first time. Be careful this CD can throw you off. If someone has a explanation for this let me know!

1-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't even get past installation
Installation of the German TalkNow module would hang with no explanation on Windows 98SE. I "Opened" the CD next and tried to launch instal32.exe and instal16.exe manually instead of from autorun. Both hanged. When I attempted to autorun the CD again it produced an error message "Astra32 - System Error -5, 12, 0". The only printed documentation consists of a poorly xeroxed page inside the box with installation instructions for Windows 3.1, 95/98, and a Mac.

This product definitely did not impress me.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best and the cheapst!
This program lets you learn 4 languages for $30! If I wanted to d tha at learnalanguage.com, I would have to pay up to $600. Ths is awesome!

4-0 out of 5 stars 'Talk Now' and 'World Talk' deliver as stated
If you want a program to teach you how to speak the basics in a fast, fun, simple way, this would be a good one. If you want a program that will teach you as if you were taught in school, including grammar, writing, and verb conjugation(I did, she saw, we went, etc.), you will probably be disappointed. This program gives you two CD-ROM's per language, one for basics, one for intermediate level learning. The first CD, "Talk Now" gives you excercises in foods, colors, phrases, body parts, numbers, time, shopping, and countries. Under each heading, you play two word games, record yourself speaking and compare it to native speakers(your computer needs a microphone to do this), print vocabulary flash cards, and play a "Memory"-style game with the words you learned. They work on the premise that people remember things better if they've learned in fun situations. Though a bit cheesy at times, it _is_ fun, and you _will_ build your basic vocabulary. The second CD jumps more to full sentences, listening skills, identification, and writing dictation, all still in game-like form. It's a bit of a leap in knowlege, and can be a bit frustrating, but it's a good start for 'learning by listening', much as you would if you were struggling in the actual country, only without making a fool of yourself. At this level, if you have never been exposed to the language, the help/? icon becomes your best friend. Still little in grammar and verb forms, though. To get the most out of it, I would also recommend purchasing a pocket dictionary of the language(s), and maybe even one of those "500 [the language] Verbs" books, so you can actually have a better understanding of your vocabulary and how to form sentences. Overall, these programs are fun & effective as a means of learning to speak, by yourself (or with a friend), on your own time. ... Read more


9. Encarta Reference Library 2004 DVD - Large Box
list price: $69.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000096L6X
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 5847
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Combines award-winning encyclopedia resources with research and learning tools
  • Comprehensive homework project and research tracking tools
  • Collection of videos from Discovery Channel and a new Visual Browser
  • Update Encarta tool keeps reference materials both timely and accurate
  • A wealth of relevant information on virtually any subject

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Encarta 2004 versus Britannica 2004
I have bought both Encarta and Britannica for years (EB in printed edition too: 32 volumes, 32.000 sheets). This is my opinion in brief: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) makes interesting to buy both.
¿DVD or CD? Both editions are actually the same. You can copy them in your hard disk.
TEXT: Britannica is a superb encyclopedia in text (not in visual aid) since 1768 (you know: an article by Einstein and so on...). Text in electronic version differs from printed encyclopedia (very large articles have been shortened). Britannica claims that it has more items than Encarta, but this is a joke: articles like "Mexico" are only one (with a lot of subdivisions) in Encarta, while in Britannica subdivisions are unconnected, and you must "jump" from one subdivision to another, which is slow and very annoying, especially if you want to copy it in "WORD". Very often, the text is not updated.
In the other hand, Encarta's text is not bad at all. Most articles have the name of their contributors (professions, works...): They are not John Doe. You can find large fragments of literary works, literature guides, a lot of sidebars and thousands of quotations. "Encarta Africana" is included. The Pop-Up (double clicking a word) Dictionary and Thesaurus has sound for correct pronunciation (by the way, it can read aloud, with a robotic and ugly voice, a whole article). The "Translation Dictionaries" to Spanish, French, German and Italian must be improved, because they are minimal. It gives you a lot of "Internet links", even if you are not connected. With Britannica you must be "on-line" and it searches in an EB Web page.
In theory you can update Britannica over the Internet free for a year quarterly (4 times), but this does not work: You can not find new files. Encarta can be updated free EVERY WEEK with new articles and additions or corrections to the old ones (till October 2004). With Encarta updating really works. Technically, is amazing to see the changes in old items.
ATLAS Britannica has not a real atlas; only a worlds map whose maximum detail is the States of USA. Statistics are very poor. Encarta's Atlas is like another encyclopedia, with a great detail (1 cm/ 4 km all over the world) and 20 types of atlas presentations (statistical ones can be counted by dozens). If you look a geographical article (city, river...) you can see in a corner where it is placed and, with only a click, open the atlas. In articles of cities, if you are on-line, you can see in another corner the weather of this place in that moment. If it is a USA place, you can read the latest news.
MULTIMEDIA: They say that "serious" or "adult" readers do not care about "pictures"; that multimedia is only for kids. I do not agree, because I think that, sometimes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Works of art, anatomy, historical maps, diagrams ... Encarta devastates Britannica with a lot of photos, paintings, drawings, charts & tables, animations, interactivities, videos, music and sounds, pictures, 2-D and 3-D virtual tours, 360-degrees views, timeline, games... It is not only the quantity and quality. It is the easy access you have to all the multimedia, and that text and multimedia are fully integrated. Britannica is not really multimedia. It has photos and videos, but they make the program slow and sluggish. They should edit an alternative version with only text, as they did with the first edition in 1995. It worked fast and easy in old computers.
INTERFACE AND PERFORMANCE: This is the worst side of Britannica. With Encarta you only have to type a word or the beginning of a word to see all the articles and multimedia that contain it. If Encarta does not find anything, it gives you automatically alternative spellings. Even if you write the name of a small village lost in any country, you see it in the atlas. If you need to copy text or pictures, the integration with Microsoft WORD is perfect. It has additional ways to find content, including subject or multimedia browsing, "related articles" and the standard A-Z method. The "Research Organizer" is very helpful too. Encarta's TEXT FONT is very clear (Britannica's...) and you can choose 3 sizes.
Navigating with Britannica is different. 2004 edition is better than 2003 one, but still it is disappointing. I will only give you an example: if you do not know the exact and correct spelling of a name or word, it does not help you with similar spellings (unless you open a window and fight with it). As I said before, the program's performance speed is very slow and sluggish, and it must be dramatically improved. To go "back and forward" you do not find any icon and you need to open a "menu".... One "pro" for Britannica: they say it works with Macintosh.
I repeat my modest piece of advice: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) make interesting to buy both. ... Read more


10. Encarta Reference Library 2004 (Small Box)
list price: $69.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000096L6Y
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 2258
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable
I've tried both Encarta 2004 and Britannica 2004. As other reviews here pointed out, Britannica is also good, but the interface leaves a lot to be desired and program is very very sluggish. I'm on a 1.6Mhz Pentium 4 Windows XP system, with 1 gigabyte of memory. So I was a bit surprised how slow it was.

I decided to go with Encarta because it's faster, has more multimedia, and I like how Microsoft updates it (and displays a list of what was updated/added). I haven't tried the older versions of Encarta so I cannot compare, but 2004 looks and works fine for me. Some have complained about the Visual Browser "carousel" on the main page of the program. This can easily be disabled in the program options if it annoys you. The Encarta interface is very clean and organized. Colorful detailed buttons on the toolbar make it very easy to access the most common tasks and the search function is very fast. It seems the more you dig into it, the more goodies you'll find. There are great interactivities, games, dynamic atlas, 3D and 2D virtual tours, thousands of quotations, an entire dictionary program, and lots more. If you're used to the Internet Explorer browser, the "Favorites" menu in Encarta is identical and a great way to bookmark and organize your favorite places in this vast program. It's very easy to get "lost" for hours just clicking around.

I haven't looked through an encyclopedia on CD-ROM since the early 90's when CD-ROM technology was just starting to take off. I'm pleased to see how detailed and invaluable they've become. I'd recommend this to anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars I love this product!
I've not seen Encarta before so I have no idea about previous versions. However, this version is very impressive. I'm a computer professional and I can say that very few products have a user interface that 'flows' this well. My primary reason to get this was for my 10-year-old, but I think I'll be using it a lot more than her. The maps, dictionaries, articles, and links to related content on the web are great, but how they are all tied together is what really makes this product shine.

It does take a while to load and you want to install everything on your hard drive (about 2Gig). If you don't load everything to your disk then you'll wear out your arm swapping between the 5 CDs when you look at different articles.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good, but better Encarta Reference Library
It is better to buy Encarta Reference Library, because it has more text and features (Atlas and so on). I have reviewed it if you want extra information. The system requirements are about the same.

5-0 out of 5 stars Encarta 2004 versus Britannica 2004
I have bought both Encarta and Britannica for years (EB in printed edition too: 32 volumes, 32.000 sheets). This is my opinion in brief: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) makes interesting to buy both.
TEXT: Britannica is a superb encyclopedia in text (not in visual aid) since 1768 (you know: an article by Einstein and so on...). Text in electronic version differs from printed encyclopedia (very large articles have been shortened). Britannica claims that it has more items than Encarta, but this is a joke: articles like "Mexico" are only one (with a lot of subdivisions) in Encarta, while in Britannica subdivisions are unconnected, and you must "jump" from one subdivision to another, which is slow and very annoying, especially if you want to copy it in "WORD". Very often, the text is not updated.
In the other hand, Encarta's text is not bad at all. Most articles have the name of their contributors (professions, works...): They are not John Doe. You can find large fragments of literary works, literature guides, a lot of sidebars and thousands of quotations. "Encarta Africana" is included. The Pop-Up (double clicking a word) Dictionary and Thesaurus has sound for correct pronunciation (by the way, it can read aloud, with a robotic and ugly voice, a whole article). The "Translation Dictionaries" to Spanish, French, German and Italian must be improved, because they are minimal. It gives you a lot of "Internet links", even if you are not connected. With Britannica you must be "on-line" and it searches in an EB Web page.
In theory you can update Britannica over the Internet free for a year quarterly (4 times), but this does not work: You can not find new files. Encarta can be updated free EVERY WEEK with new articles and additions or corrections to the old ones (till October 2004). With Encarta updating really works. Technically, is amazing to see the changes in old items.
ATLAS Britannica has not a real atlas; only a worlds map whose maximum detail is the States of USA. Statistics are very poor. Encarta's Atlas is like another encyclopedia, with a great detail (1 cm/ 4 km all over the world) and 20 types of atlas presentations (statistical ones can be counted by dozens). If you look a geographical article (city, river...) you can see in a corner where it is placed and, with only a click, open the atlas. In articles of cities, if you are on-line, you can see in another corner the weather of this place in that moment. If it is a USA place, you can read the latest news.
MULTIMEDIA: They say that "serious" or "adult" readers do not care about "pictures"; that multimedia is only for kids. I do not agree, because I think that, sometimes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Works of art, anatomy, historical maps, diagrams ... Encarta devastates Britannica with a lot of photos, paintings, drawings, charts & tables, animations, interactivities, videos, music and sounds, pictures, 2-D and 3-D virtual tours, 360-degrees views, timeline, games... It is not only the quantity and quality. It is the easy access you have to all the multimedia, and that text and multimedia are fully integrated. Britannica is not really multimedia. It has photos and videos, but they make the program slow and sluggish. They should edit an alternative version with only text, as they did with the first edition in 1995. It worked fast and easy in old computers.
INTERFACE AND PERFORMANCE: This is the worst side of Britannica. With Encarta you only have to type a word or the beginning of a word to see all the articles and multimedia that contain it. If Encarta does not find anything, it gives you automatically alternative spellings. Even if you write the name of a small village lost in any country, you see it in the atlas. If you need to copy text or pictures, the integration with Microsoft WORD is perfect. It has additional ways to find content, including subject or multimedia browsing, "related articles" and the standard A-Z method. The "Research Organizer" is very helpful too. Encarta's TEXT FONT is very clear (Britannica's...) and you can choose 3 sizes.
Navigating with Britannica is different. 2004 edition is better than 2003 one, but still it is disappointing. I will only give you an example: if you do not know the exact and correct spelling of a name or word, it does not help you with similar spellings (unless you open a window and fight with it). As I said before, the program's performance speed is very slow and sluggish, and it must be dramatically improved. To go "back and forward" you do not find any icon and you need to open a "menu".... One "pro" for Britannica: they say it works with Macintosh.
I repeat my modest piece of advice: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) make interesting to buy both.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good in a Very Microsoftish Way
Encarta is good. It is very easy to use. It has a web site that a registered user could access. Its world map is far superior than the Encyclopaedia Britannica's. However, its contents are sometimes not that good.

For example, I searched "John Rawls," a prominent moral and political philosopher, today. Its first line reads:

[ Rawls, John (1921-), American moral and political philosopher, whose major work, A Theory of Justice, has had a profound impact on ethics and political theory since its publication in 1971. ]

For God's sake, Rawls died on Nov 22, 2002. It's March 21, 2004 today. And Encarta, which supposedly should be updated weekly, did nothing to correct this mistake. ... Read more


11. Encyclopedia Britannica 2004 Ultimate Reference Suite
list price: $54.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AFX41
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Pearson Software
Sales Rank: 1470
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Vast, comprehensive multimedia reference work
  • Free updates for one year
  • Covers all areas of human knowledge
  • Research organization tools
  • 21,000 images plus audio and video

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Britannica 2004 versus Encarta 2004
I have bought both Encarta and Britannica for years (EB in printed edition too: 32 volumes, 32.000 sheets). This is my opinion in brief: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) makes interesting to buy both.
¿DVD or CD? Both editions are actually the same. You can copy them in your hard disk.
TEXT: Britannica is a superb encyclopedia in text (not in visual aid) since 1768 (you know: an article by Einstein and so on...). Text in electronic version differs from printed encyclopedia (very large articles have been shortened). Britannica claims that it has more items than Encarta, but this is a joke: articles like "Mexico" are only one (with a lot of subdivisions) in Encarta, while in Britannica subdivisions are unconnected, and you must "jump" from one subdivision to another, which is slow and very annoying, especially if you want to copy it in "WORD". Very often, the text is not updated.
In the other hand, Encarta's text is not bad at all. Most articles have the name of their contributors (professions, works...): They are not John Doe. You can find large fragments of literary works, literature guides, a lot of sidebars and thousands of quotations. "Encarta Africana" is included. The Pop-Up (double clicking a word) Dictionary and Thesaurus has sound for correct pronunciation (by the way, it can read aloud, with a robotic and ugly voice, a whole article). The "Translation Dictionaries" to Spanish, French, German and Italian must be improved, because they are minimal. It gives you a lot of "Internet links", even if you are not connected. With Britannica you must be "on-line" and it searches in an EB Web page.
In theory you can update Britannica over the Internet free for a year quarterly (4 times), but this does not work: You can not find new files. Encarta can be updated free EVERY WEEK with new articles and additions or corrections to the old ones (till October 2004). With Encarta updating really works. Technically, is amazing to see the changes in old items.
ATLAS Britannica has not a real atlas; only a worlds map whose maximum detail is the States of USA. Statistics are very poor. Encarta's Atlas is like another encyclopedia, with a great detail (1 cm/ 4 km all over the world) and 20 types of atlas presentations (statistical ones can be counted by dozens). If you look a geographical article (city, river...) you can see in a corner where it is placed and, with only a click, open the atlas. In articles of cities, if you are on-line, you can see in another corner the weather of this place in that moment. If it is a USA place, you can read the latest news.
MULTIMEDIA: They say that "serious" or "adult" readers do not care about "pictures"; that multimedia is only for kids. I do not agree, because I think that, sometimes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Works of art, anatomy, historical maps, diagrams ... Encarta devastates Britannica with a lot of photos, paintings, drawings, charts & tables, animations, interactivities, videos, music and sounds, pictures, 2-D and 3-D virtual tours, 360-degrees views, timeline, games... It is not only the quantity and quality. It is the easy access you have to all the multimedia, and that text and multimedia are fully integrated. Britannica is not really multimedia. It has photos and videos, but they make the program slow and sluggish. They should edit an alternative version with only text, as they did with the first edition in 1995. It worked fast and easy in old computers.
INTERFACE AND PERFORMANCE: This is the worst side of Britannica. With Encarta you only have to type a word or the beginning of a word to see all the articles and multimedia that contain it. If Encarta does not find anything, it gives you automatically alternative spellings. Even if you write the name of a small village lost in any country, you see it in the atlas. If you need to copy text or pictures, the integration with Microsoft WORD is perfect. It has additional ways to find content, including subject or multimedia browsing, "related articles" and the standard A-Z method. The "Research Organizer" is very helpful too. Encarta's TEXT FONT is very clear (Britannica's...) and you can choose 3 sizes.
Navigating with Britannica is different. 2004 edition is better than 2003 one, but still it is disappointing. I will only give you an example: if you do not know the exact and correct spelling of a name or word, it does not help you with similar spellings (unless you open a window and fight with it). As I said before, the program's performance speed is very slow and sluggish, and it must be dramatically improved. To go "back and forward" you do not find any icon and you need to open a "menu".... One "pro" for Britannica: they say it works with Macintosh.
I repeat my modest piece of advice: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) make interesting to buy both.

5-0 out of 5 stars User friendly encyclopedia
I bought recently the Brittannica Encyclopedia Ultimate Reference Suite in CD.

I'm very satisfied with the product. After reading the reviews, I was expecting a "less-friendly" software. However I was very possitevely impressed on how easy was to conduct a search, to use the links and to use the research assistant. Even my 4 years old kid is enjoying the navigation thru the contents, pictures and videos.

I also think that the general contents of the Encyclopedia are better (deeper and more complete) than the Encarta's.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good but not great
First, let me tell you: I've consumed encyclopedias (book and e-form)for a long time now, I am also a teacher and for me this is an OK product but not great. It is not user friendly, the text looks poor on the screen (I have top of the line Viewsonic monitor), the maps are bad (no zoom, no roads, no details--only political). The layout is not very efficient, windows tile and you constantly have to move them around.

The strongest point I can make for this product is its in-depth articles but that's it. It does not encourage exploring like Encarta. In short, I'd say that this product is more for college students than smaller kids. If you have kids through HS, then I'd recommend you get Encarta.

5-0 out of 5 stars Much Better Than the Other Products
I have reviewed both Encarta and Britannica. If you want great presentation, very light content, and biased history, buy Encarta. If you want history more in line with the actual facts, in depth articles, articles by great minds (i.e., Einstein, etc) buy Britanica.

In most cases you can find both products at a local Library and review them for yourself. My own experience led to me buying Britannica. Britannica is the more accurate and the product demonstrates the qulaity of its scholars.

1-0 out of 5 stars Poor, sluggish, especially on a Mac!
Save your money, especially if you're on a Mac.

The program is sluggish even on a fast computer (you can count 5-10 seconds before windows open up). Its auto-completion algorithm distractingly flashes alternative search text when you try to type something in--and slows that down, too!

On a Mac, the program runs inside of a window--with tiny Windows menus (those distracting items with underlines for keystrokes) on a thin Windows toolbar and uses Windows windows (with a series of small icons in the upper right corner). No Aqua or brushed metal interface, no red-yellow-green window controls. All this, even though it is running under OS X.

I've had windows open up such that the close/zoom controls are off the screen and no amount of moving the window around will bring them back! The windows are actually confined within another window and do not behave like Mac windows where you can slide a window to and fro.

The program takes forever to launch also. And wouldn't you know it, in spite of the much vaunted supposed thoroughness of EB, one of the very first thing I searched for--the variations in Earth-Sun distance--was not readily available. Others have noted how sparse and poor the multimedia offerings are. I loved the hard copy EB, but this doesn't live up to that. I had much better luck with Grolier's Encyclopedia, but that was in the OS 9 days.

I got this FREE as part of a TurboTax promotion and, even so, I am ready to delete it from my hard drive! ... Read more


12. My Body Myself (Jewel Case)
list price: $9.99
our price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00009ZLGP
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Fogware Publishing
Sales Rank: 2315
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Features

  • Discover how and why your body works
  • Learn how the body creates energy from food; watch the digestive system at work
  • Learn how the brain receives information and responds; observe the nervous system's role
  • View bone movements in interactive 3-D modes
  • Recommended ages: 7-12

13. Encylopedia Britannica Profiles: U.S. Presidents (Jewel Case)
list price: $9.99
our price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008KIT1
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Atari
Sales Rank: 3879
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Features

  • All the information you need about the U.S. presidents
  • Hundreds of articles, photographs, Internet links, and more
  • Information on the political parties, from the obscure to the popular
  • Detailed election results dating back to 1789
  • Audio and video clips to transport you back in time

14. Webster's Millennium Discovering Our Universe
list price: $24.99
our price: $23.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00009WOAJ
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Multimedia 2000
Sales Rank: 2564
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15. The Teachings of Jesus (Large Box)
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00068XQTI
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Encore Software
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16. Eyewitness Children's Encyclopedia Ages 7-12

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00002S884
Catlog: Software
Publisher: DK Multimedia
Sales Rank: 4718
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17. Discovering Egypt (4 CD-ROM)

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005K9F8
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 4817
Average Customer Review: 2.67 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

Explore the cultural treasures of ancient Egypt with this package of four interactive, multimedia CD-ROMs. You can take a detailed journey throughEgypt, from the Sphinx and the Rosetta Stone to Tutankhamen's tomb and thebanks of the Nile. The package also offers 3-D virtual tours of tombs andpyramids, extensive photographs, animations, audio commentaries, and slideshows.

  • Journey Down the Nile lets you explore pyramids, temples, andother landmarks. The 18 periods of Egyptian history are examined, from theNeolithic Period (6000 B.C.) to the Modern Age. There is also a section onEgyptology covering various explorers, pharaohs, and religion.
  • The Age of Pharaohs uncovers the great mysteries and lives ofEgypt's pharaohs. There is also a section about everyday life in ancientEgypt that captures the daily lives of residents. This CD-ROM also introduces you to the world of hieroglyphics, the ancient Egyptian system of writing based on pictorial symbols.
  • Wonders of Past & Present gives you a personal, 3-D virtual tourof Tutankhamen's tomb, the pyramid of Cheops, Nefertari's tomb, and a cruisedown the Nile. Explore these areas by yourself, or take the guided tour andsimply sit back, listen, and watch. There are detailed explanations, abeautiful soundtrack, and an easy-to-use interface.
  • Voyage in Egypt has explanations of everything Egyptian, including a detailed list of divinities and their functions in Egyptian religion. There is a special section on famous ancient Egyptians and explorers, as well as a comprehensive glossary for understanding terms associated with Egyptology. Other categories include architecture, daily life, science and technology, and more. Hyperlinked words in the text also enable you to learn more about a particular subject.
... Read more

Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars Note
I bought Discovering Egypt because the box looked interesting. Unfortunately, I found out after installing it on my system that it is NOT compatible with Windows XP. Their web site even says this (which I read after-the-fact). No update is planned by them. Please be aware of that.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not intended for anyone over age 12!
The cd set will be quite acceptable to those who know nothing of Ancient Egypt, it's culture, history or religion. However, anyone who has even a limited knowledge of Ancient Egypt will find this set dissapointing. The serious minded seeker will not find any in-depth description or commentary about that which they seek.

I was very dissapointed and not at all impressed. A waste of money if intended to learn anything serious about Ancient Egypt.

Calean

4-0 out of 5 stars Grest Learning Experience
I think that Discovering Egypt was a great set of discs for learning about Egypt. I learned a lot from it and it helped me out in school and in projects. I would reccomend this for the ages 10 and up. ... Read more


18. Eyewitness History Of The World 1.0

Asin: B00002S87E
Catlog: Software
Publisher: DK Multimedia
Sales Rank: 1612
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Click your way through history
I approached this product like a book, clicking on to every option in chronological order. It held my interest all the way through. DK really did a fine job. There's plenty of information to read and plenty of interesting things to look at. ... Read more


19. Webster's Millennium Discovering the Human Body
list price: $24.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00009WOAI
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Multimedia 2000
Sales Rank: 2081
Average Customer Review: 1 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars SHAM: New Package Old Software
I feel like ive been ripped off. This software is supposed to be new but it is a bundle of titles I purchased back in 1999 (human 3d reference edition and interctive human body). Infact two of the programs OurBody and Human 3D are the SAME thing with a slightly different interface. This thing is a sham, DONT FALL FOR IT. ... Read more


20. Eyewitness Children's Encyclopedia
list price: $39.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00002S886
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley
Sales Rank: 1472
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

The Eyewitness Children's Encyclopedia is entertaining and fun to use as well as being highly informative. Children can set off on a learning adventure via a magical 3-D landscape, where questions pop up at every turn to entice them into finding out. They can look up the answers using their portable (and customizable), multifunctional Navigator that entertains as well as informs.Or, for more serious research, they can move directly to the encyclopedia itself, which is presented as a superb blend of words, pictures, animations, and video. They're almost certain to find what they're looking for among the truly comprehensive range of subject matter--from ants to the constellations of the zodiac, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, and from the art of early man to Zen Buddhism. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars nothnig great about this encyclopedia
The encyclopedia is easy to install and not heavy on the system. The contents are not very exhaustive, and there are not sufficient MM clips as you would expect. Overall an average buy. ... Read more


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