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Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium 2009 Review

Top Ten Reviews no longer updates this category and keeps it here for archiving purposes only. It was last updated in

Microsoft has discontinued the line of Microsoft Student with Encarta. They will be supporting current customers through January 2012. See details from Microsoft.

Consider alternative algebra software from Math Success or Learning System Math.

Instead of standing by confused while your grades quickly reduce to the lowest term, expand your algebra knowledge and watch your scores increase exponentially with Microsoft Student. Microsoft Student with Encarta is the best algebra homework helper available and gives you access to homework help specific to your textbook through hotmath.com.

With this program, you get access to Microsoft Student, Encarta for Kids, hotmath.com and MSN Encarta. Through these sources, homework and project help can be found for any subject which include multimedia instruction, web links, reference materials and homework starters. Additionally, MSN Encarta is continually updated so, unlike most education programs Microsoft does not offer stale, outdated content.

In terms of algebra, it covers all algebra subjects through College Algebra and has useful math tools, fully explained sample problems, a unit converter and a graphing calculator. It also has tutorials, easy access to more than 100 commonly used formulas, and text instruction.

Topics Covered

This program with MSN Encarta excels at delivering information in a variety of ways and it primarily focuses on assisting the student with class work, as opposed to simply relating information, testing or just “giving the answers.”

The math portion of the software includes a “math tools” section where students can choose from three sections: Microsoft math, step-by-step math solutions and math concepts explained.

The Microsoft math section includes an equation solver, a worksheet creation tool and a graphing tool as well as quick access to formulas, a unit conversion tool, a triangle solver and numerous tutorials.

The step-by-step solutions section includes a place where you can input unique problems or watch tutorials on how to solve sample problems.

The third selection is math concepts explained, which covers the topics of pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, statistics and trigonometry. The algebra sections covers five basic areas and includes 41 topics clearly explained with text, drawings and sample problems including word problems.

With this software you also get access to hotmath.com and free usage of MSN Encarta for a year. Hotmath.com offers excellent math homework help for most math subjects. MSN Encarta has some math quizzes but otherwise covers other class subjects like geography, history and physical science more extensively than math.

If you are on a tight budget or are only interested in the graphing calculator part of the program, Microsoft offers a product called Microsoft Math for under 20 bucks. Microsoft Math is a full featured 3D graphing calculator for a very reasonable price.

Homework Help

With hotmath.com this program can easily help any student with their homework. The Microsoft Student program provides a fully functional graphing calculator and easy access to formulas, a triangle solver and tutorials.

In regards to our sample problem, 5(2x–8)>3(4+2x), we found several avenues of assistance easily. One way is through “solve an equation,” with this tool you simply input the problem and it can help you solve single equations or a system of equations with graphs. Or the best way is to go to hotmath.com and select your textbook and problem number. Hotmath.com offers completely solved sample problems for seven Pre-Algebra, 21 Algebra and 13 Algebra II textbooks by popular publishers. If your textbook is not included you can search hotmath practice problems by subject.

One of the best features of hotmath is that it provides more than just answers, it offers step by step solutions to sample problems with drawings and hints as well as the rules used to solve a particular problem. Additionally, hotmath covers geometry, trigonometry, pre-calculus, college algebra and calculus.

Teaching Tools

This program teamed with MSN Encarta and hotmath.com covers all general math topics, from pre-algebra through calculus. In terms of algebra it covers Pre-Algebra, Algebra I and II as well as College Algebra. Since hotmath directly follows popular text books it covers every topic that most students will encounter in their course work including advanced subjects like logic and probability.

Microsoft Student also covers every other school subject including four foreign languages, essays and creative writing, history, science, geography, social science, sports and literature.

Ease of Use/Support

No program can compete with Microsoft Student in this area; we have never seen an educational program this advanced. Encarta continually updates and the program has the level of graphic style and interactivity that computer savvy students expect. It includes many multimedia materials like video, pictures, audio files, games and 360 degree tours.


All students can benefit from the tools supplied through Microsoft Student, it can help students find information, get homework assistance, build presentations and compose papers. Not only is this an efficient program that covers all topics but it also includes stimulating and entertaining videos, images, games, audio and virtual tours.

In conclusion, the best part of Microsoft Student is that it is not designed to mimic traditional classroom instruction but to supplement and help students successfully complete their homework and projects.