Will that DVD make me cleverer?
The main use for DVD up to now has been films but Microsoft has bucked this trend, launching a DVD version of its enormously successful Encarta Reference Suite 99.
The team responsible for Encarta have taken full advantage of the infinitely more agile DVD format to improve audio and visual content, giving the Suite 35% more videos -- including full-screen MPEG-2 -- and 120% more 360 degree rotations than available on the current the CD-ROM (these let you view an object and rotate around it as if it were in front of you -- very cool). Encarta Encyclopaedia 99 includes over 2000 articles and 1800 pictures, the World Atlas offers multimedia world maps, tours and virtual flights and Bookshelf 99 includes Harrap's Concise French Dictionary, Harrap's Concise German Dictionary, Chambers English Dictionary, Roget's Thesaurus and the Bloomsbury Treasury of Quotations. That little lot should keep you busy for a while.
At £79.99 Encarta DVD is £20 cheaper and four disks smaller than the CD-ROM version, which can't be bad now can it?
Microsoft is thinking about giving us a few copies for a competition. We'll let you know.