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Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium 2008

Platform : Windows Vista, Windows XP
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
  • A full set of study aids that help get homework done right the first time
  • Students can find trusted and up-to-date information quickly and easily using Encarta Premium 2008
  • Mathematical tools help students tackle math and science problems quickly and easily
  • Tools for completing foreign language assignments and a full-featured dictionary to help translate and conjugate
  • Includes more than 1,000 book summaries that help students understand some of the most commonly studied literary works


System Requirements

  • Platform:   Windows Vista / XP
  • Media: DVD-ROM
  • Item Quantity: 1

Product Details

  • Item Weight: 172 g
  • ASIN: B000Q6ZK3A
  • Release Date: July 15 2007
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,720 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes
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Product Description

Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium 2008 Win32 English US Only DVD Mini Box.


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Top Customer Reviews

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A great comprehensive program that keeps at least a pre-teen busy ...exploring and playing while learning.
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Microsoft Student has lots of useful resources that is aimed from middle school to high school. Encarta dictionary was also very helpful. I was a big fan of it. Encarta is compatible with Windows Vista. If you own Microsoft Office (preferably a newer version) it adds many many helpful features for typing essays, stories and a hundred other things.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x968d5a98) out of 5 stars 35 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9717c3c0) out of 5 stars Gets worse with age... April 13 2008
By Greg Abrams - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I've been using Encarta along with Britannica for years. I once believed that for overall depth of content, the higher mark would go to EB. But with regard to software ease of use and organization of material, Encarta would always get the nod. Not so anymore. This new version is a step backward compared to earlier years and seems to be plagued by its own desire to be both a great encyclopedia/dictionary and a homework aid for students. In the end, it achieves only a mediocre showing in both categories.

Just as an example: the new dictionary looks better and has two new tabs for translations and verb conjugations, but performs poorly compared to the 2006 version, in my opinion. It is now almost incapable of recognizing certain word inflections as typed. As an example, take the word "intoning", a present participle of "intone". Well, if you type it in to the dictionary, it will not be recognized as a word...even though if you look up "intone", you'll find the present participle form listed there. So in order to get a match, you must type in the basic form of the word in most cases.

However...some words, such as "intoxicate", have separate entries for other forms (in this case, the present participle "intoxicating"). I don't recall this idiosyncrasy in the 2006 version of Encarta dictionary. In that version, any inflection you typed in would lead you back to the basic form (e.g., present indicative) definition. This new dictionary is actually fairly annoying after a few days of working with it.

It also seems that some words were completely dropped. For example, "reenact" isn't a word from Encarta's perspective. You won't find it under that listing, or the hyphenated "re-enact". But you can find it in Merriam-Webster and practically every other dictionary on the planet. It's almost like they abridged what Encarta had in earlier versions. The weird thing about it is that you can find the word "reenact" in the Thesaurus and Verb Conjugation tabs...but not in the dictionary. What's up with that? Did Microsoft lay off their software testing team?

Perhaps there's some logic to it all. But in my opinion, it comes across as sloppy and not very helpful. I once used the little Encarta icon on my task bar every day. Now I'm opting for Britannica 2008's Merriam-Webster component instead. Oh well, it seems that some good things come to an end through unnecessary tinkering.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9717c5e8) out of 5 stars not for adults March 10 2008
By Michael A. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Unfortunately this is not an encyclopedia and dictionary with student aids, but student programs with the encyclopedia added on. You must wade through all kinds of homework, math, etc. programs to reach the dictionary and encyclopedia. Microsoft apparently thinks that after you leave school you can never have need of an encyclopedia or dictionary again. Also once you load it on, you cannot turn it off. It will run forever on the grounds that you might have to look up something. Once you do get in, the interface is harder to move around in than in the old 2004 edition.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9717c84c) out of 5 stars Each recent version gets worse Sept. 2 2007
By Rod Walsh - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I've used Encarta for many years. However, the 2004 version was the last version worthy of carrying the Encarta name.

Navigation used to be extremely simple. Now, you need a PhD to get around. The use of the "find" box in 2004 is so much more helpful than the "search" box in this 2008 version.

This version crashes regularly (running Vista). By regularly, I'd say it crashes 20% of the time. On the plus side, they have all been soft landings and I can re-open without a re-boot.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9717cb7c) out of 5 stars Microsoft Student 2008 Aug. 22 2007
By Sam Vaknin - Published on Amazon.com
Homework assignments are the bane of most students I know (not to mention their hard-pressed and nescient parents). This is mainly because of the tedious and mind-numbing chores of data mining and composition. Additionally, as knowledge multiplies every 5-10 years, few parents and teachers are able to keep up.

Enter Microsoft Student 2008: a productivity suite which includes English and foreign language dictionaries, thesaurus, quotations library, assignment templates, tutorials, graphing calculator software and a Web Companion. MS Student comes replete with the entire Encarta Premium 2008 encyclopedia and its dynamic atlas and provides online access to the feature-rich MSN Encarta Premium through October 2008.

The previous versions of Encarta included a host of homework tools. Two years ago, these have evolved into a separate product called Microsoft Student. Since then, it has been gainfully repackaged and very much enhanced. This year, for the first time, MS Student can be downloaded from the Web or purchased as a standalone, packaged product (DVD only).

Among the new or revamped features: free online access to MSN Encarta Premium, Step-by-Step Math Solutions calculator, Step-by-Step Math Textbook Solutions, Triangle Solver, Equations Library, tutorials, and foreign language help.

To augment the performance of MS Student 2008, Microsoft offers "Learning Essentials": preformatted report and presentation templates and tutorials designed for Microsoft Office XP and later. MS Student's templates are actually clever adaptations of the popular Office suite of products: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. They help the student produce homework plans and schedules, science projects, book reports, presentations, research reports, charts, and analyses of problems in math, physics, and chemistry. Detailed step-by-step tutorials, Quick Starters, and pop-up toolbars (menus) guide the student along the way in a friendly, non-intrusive manner.

The Ace in MS Student's deck is Microsoft Math. It is a seemingly endless anthology of tools, tutorials and instruction sheets on how to grasp mathematical concepts and solve math problems, from the most basic (e.g., fractions) to mid-level difficulty (e.g., trigonometric functions). And if this is not enough, there's free access to HotMath, an online collection of math study aides and problem solvers.

The graphing calculator is a wonder. It has both 2-D and 3-D capabilities and makes use of the full screen. Aided by an extensive Equations Library, it does everything except cook: trigonometry, calculus, math, charting, geometry, physics, and chemistry. And everything in full color! Triangles get special treatment in the Triangle Solver. The most vexing trilateral relationships and rules are rendered simple through the use of enhanced graphics. The Equation Library, though, is disappointing. It holds only 100 equations and calculus is sorely neglected throughout.

MS Student provides a powerful English-Spanish-French-German-Italian dictionary. It helps the student to translate and conjugate verbs. The synergy between this product and the impressive foreign language capabilities of MS Word creates an effective language laboratory which allows the user to study the languages up to the point of completing assignments using specialized foreign-language templates.

For the student keen on the liberal arts and the humanities, Student 2008 provides detailed Book Summaries of almost 1000 classic works. Besides plot synopses, the student gets acquainted with the author's life, themes and characters in the tomes, and ideas for book reports.

Similar to the Encarta, MS Student's Web Companion obtains search results from all the major search engines without launching any additional applications (such as a browser). Content from both the Encyclopedia and the Web is presented side by side. This augmentation explicitly adopts the Internet and incorporates it as an important source of reference - as 80% of students have already done.

I am not sure how Microsoft solved the weighty and interesting issues of intellectual property that the Web Companion raises, though. Copyright-holders of Web content may feel that they have the right to be compensated by Microsoft for the use it makes of their wares in its commercial products.

MS Student would do well to also integrate with desktop search tools from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and others. Students will benefit from seamless access to content from all over - their desktop, their encyclopedias, and the Web - using a single, intuitive interface.

Microsoft would do well to incorporate collaborative and Web publishing tools in this product. MS Student does not equip and empower the student to collaborate with teachers and classmates on class projects and to seamlessly publish his or her results and work on the Web. Future editions would do well to incorporate a NetMeeting-like module, a wiki interface, and an HTML editor.

All in all, MS Student 2008 is a great contribution to learning. Inevitably, it has a few flaws and glitches.

Start with the price. As productivity suites go, it is reasonably priced had its target population been adult professional users. But, at $50-100 (depending on the country), it is beyond the reach of most poor students and parents - its most immediate market niches.

MS Student 2008 makes use of Microsoft's .Net technology. As most home computers lack it, the installer insists on adding it to the anyhow bloated Windows Operating System. There is worse to come: the .Net version installed by MS Student 2008 is plagued with security holes and vulnerabilities. Users have to download service packs and patches from Windows Update if they do not wish to run the risk of having their computers compromised by hackers.

Fully installed on the hard disk, MS Student 2008, like its predecessors, gobbles up a whopping 4 Gb. That's a lot - even in an age of ever cheaper storage. Most homesteads still sport PCs with 40-80 Gb hard disks. This makes MS Student less suitable for installation on older PCs and on many laptops.

Finally, there is the question of personal creativity and originality. Luckily, MS Student does not spoon-feed its users. It does not substitute for thinking or for study. On the contrary, by providing structured stimuli, it encourages the student to express his or her ideas. It does not do the homework assignments for the student - it merely helps rid them of time-consuming and machine-like functions. And it opens up to both student and family the wonderful twin universes of knowledge: the Encarta and the Web. Sam Vaknin, author of "Malignant Self-love - Narcissism Revisited"
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9717c6cc) out of 5 stars Just Ok. Feb. 27 2008
By KL2006 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
So far I'm not impressed. Encarta offers very little extra than what can be found independently online. Also, we have Microsoft Office and my daughter, an 8th grader, already has a good understanding of how Powerpoint, Excel, and Office work so she doesn't need the templates and tutorials to help with school assignments. Most students are taught how to use Powerpoint, Word,and Excel in school computer classes. I guess Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium 2008 might be beneficial to someone with very little knowledge of Microsoft Office and who needs assistance in creativity as far as reports are concerned. However, if you have a strong student with a fair amount of backround using Word, Powerpoint and Excel, this would be a waste of money.


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