For Immediate Release
Microsoft and Design Science Bring Math Help to Students Through MSN
MSN Encarta Premium Delivers High-School Math Help Using MathPlayer From
REDMOND, Wash., and LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Dec. 16, 2003 -- With the
introduction of MSN® Encarta® Premium today in the United States, MSN unveiled
details regarding expanded content and tools that will make homework --
particularly math -- easier for students. Powered by Design Science MathPlayer™
technology, Math Help in MSN Encarta Premium gives students step-by-step
guidance with problems in commonly used textbooks as part of the Homework Center
feature. Students will be able to select a textbook, navigate to a specific
problem, and review detailed explanations by expert mathematicians on how to
solve a similar problem. MSN Encarta Premium is available today in the United
States and Japan1 as a stand-alone subscription service and will be available as
a feature in the upcoming premier MSN subscription service called MSN Premium,
scheduled to launch in the United States on Jan. 8, 2004.
MSN Encarta Premium, built on the No. 1 best-selling encyclopedia brand2, is
a learning and research resource extending the innovative and compelling
features of Encarta Reference Library 2004 to help make the Internet more useful
for families. The Homework Center in MSN Encarta Premium builds on these
resources to help adults and children to overcome day-to-day challenges in math,
English and projects of all types. Areas within the Homework Center include the
- Homework Starters. Step-by-step guides help students write essays,
research papers, book reports and more.
- Literature Guides. These guides reference background and context
for classic and popular literature to help strengthen book reports.
- Magazine center. Available through the Homework Center, MSN Encarta
Premium Magazine Center provides online access to full archived contents of
many top periodicals.
- Web Directory. A list of the best online sources as selected by the
expert staff at Encarta includes a collection of sites chosen and organized
specifically for homework help.
- Math Help. With step-by-step math help, powered by MathPlayer
technology by Design Science Inc., students can select a textbook, navigate to
a specific problem, and review detailed explanations by expert mathematicians
on how to solve a similar problem.
"MSN is thrilled to introduce MSN Encarta Premium, including the powerful
learning tools we've assembled in the Homework Center to help families overcome
daily learning frustrations," said Lisa Gurry, group product manager for MSN.
"We're excited about our new offerings and how they expand our ability to help
kids achieve great results with their homework. I just wish it had been
available when I was in school."
The pioneering technology behind the Math Help offering from Design Science
is critical to both its success and functionality. Math Help uses MathML
notation, which is displayed via MathPlayer software. MathML is the XML-based
standard for encoding mathematics developed by the
World Wide Web Consortium and is supported
by popular Web browsers. Design Science offers a full range of products for
working with mathematical notation and MathML.
MathML allows mathematical notation to be embedded in HTML and XHTML Web
pages. Unlike GIF and JPEG equation images, MathML captures the meaning and
structure of math, thereby enabling its accessibility, searching and
"MathML has tremendous potential for enhancing math and science Web pages and
online educational content," said Paul Topping, president of Design Science.
"The use of MathML and our MathPlayer software in MSN Math Help content
validates the years of effort by the MathML community to bring this technology
to the mainstream."
In addition to being distributed with content products such as MSN,
MathPlayer is available as a free download on the Design Science Web site, which
MathML-enables the Microsoft® Internet Explorer Web browser.
MSN Encarta Premium is available today for $4.95 a month or $29.95 annually3
at http://encarta.msn.com/ in the United
States. MSN Encarta Premium also will be available as a feature in the upcoming
MSN Premium offering, beginning Jan. 8, 2004. MSN Premium is priced at $9.95 a
month or $99.95 annually in the United States.3
MSN attracts more than 350 million unique users worldwide per month. With
localized versions available globally in 38 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a
world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and ad sales to businesses
worldwide. MSN 8 is the first Internet software product to have earned the
trusted Good Housekeeping Seal. The most useful and innovative online service
today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most
of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at
http://www.msn.com/. MSN worldwide sites are located at
About Design Science
Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., Design Science
develops software used by scientists, educators and publishing professionals,
including MathType, Equation Editor in Microsoft Office, WebEQ, MathPlayer,
TeXaide and MathFlow, to communicate on the Web and in print. More information
is available at http://www.dessci.com/.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in
software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business
computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to
empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.
1 Features and content available in international versions may vary.
2 NPDTechworldSM, March 1993--March 2003. Based on total U.S sales.
3 Available to new subscribers, in the 50 United States, the District of
Columbia and Puerto Rico. After the trial period (if any), the then current
price for your MSN plan will be automatically charged to your credit card until
you cancel your account or select an alternative plan. You must agree to the MSN
Subscription Agreement to access the service. A major credit card is required.
MSN is available only for personal noncommercial use. MSN Premium and MSN
Encarta Premium Details: For users of Windows® 98 or later operating systems
only. Prices are subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Microsoft, MSN, Encarta and Windows are either registered trademarks or
trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
trademarks of their respective owners.
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