The Future of Microsoft Encarta

I really thought about it, and here are some thoughts of what Microsoft Encarta should be like in the future. First, it should become more of a school/education platform. It should basically be used at school for everything in learning and is basically the center where all schoolwork starts, is done, and ends. It’s basically like the way Microsoft makes things for businesses, it makes things for schools. First here is a list of ideas that should be included in Encarta right now, or in the next edition:
  • more information in it’s articles, it should be more detailed, and offer a more wider variety of everything
  • have way more multimedia in it, it has a good amount, but definitely could use way more than that.
  • faster installation, i don’t mind waiting, but lots of other people would like it to go in and fast
  • better updating – updating isn’t really automatic, you have to check for updates yourself, and a few times I had to manually do it
  • better connection to online version of Encarta – there is an option to have MSN Online Premium for free for at least a year, but you have to dig around to find it. (Go to File : Activate Subscription : Activate) you have to have a Windows Live ID/MS Passport ID. The option should be more obvious than this, and should be included when you are using the wizard to install this
  • more sports information – Encarta really sinks low in sports history, bascially just showing scores, rather than remarkable events that took place
  • offer a 3D version of their Atlas/Globe (possible partnership with NASA World Wind, maybe?)
  • more controls in it’s video player – like time, hitting any part of the video in it’s status bar

Here is what the sometime in the near future version of Encarta should look like (keep in mind that I’m talking about a school edition):

  • everything listed above
  • a home page where it lists all your assignments, tasks, alerts, and people online on their messenger
  • a more appealing futuristic glassy/glossy looking user interface (just for people like me who want sleek looking things) or more options to different themes
  • a special library collection of your e-books, that you can read on a special reader made just for Encarta
  • the themed calculator that Encarta offers is nice, but there should be options in where you can can get even more specialized themes, like with your fav. color, holiday themes, favorite themes(like with signature bands, singers,sports stars, movie stars, etc. logos on your calculator), or a way to make your own faceplate for your calculator (possible way to make quick cash selling faceplates?)
  • turning today’s textbooks/workbooks into computerized textbooks/workbooks with more coherentness, visual appeal, and updates regularly. Today’s textbooks/workbooks have lots of useless pages, unneeded info, get outdated quick, and is just too much for some people to hold all day.
  • should partner with Nabs Labs, and make the science area look cool with high quality charts/tables, Bill Nye videos, virtual dissection, lab experiment videos, and just making science look more new and engaging
  • include more books summaries of books along with adding more detail with them and offering a way to buy an e-book version of it to download in Encarta Reader
  • a wider selection of languages – Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Arabic, Hindi
  • quicker instant translation – should be able to do it in a second on same page and recognizes even many uncommon words associated with it
  • it already has a good interactive set of games but I wish they would include more for about every chapter/section in the textbook
  • having special sections dedicated to certain points of our history with special looks, theme, and style
  • choice of 2D/3D graphs
  • "postcards" from around the world showing video clips ofhow other students live around in different countries around the world
  • i know it sounds completely useless, but I wish the Encarta butterfly would flap it’s wings everytime you search for something on the browser. it just looks cooler that way.
  • a way to download some quick lessons onto your Zune, iPod, or any other MP3 player

Like I said, these are only a few ideas that I’m showing. There are like tons more out there that I wish, and want to have, that are just too much to put in one blog post at one time. So if there’s anyway to make the next Encarta product better, here are a few ideas to get started.

 

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