The new version of Microsoft's Encarta Encyclopaedia Deluxe 2000 hits reseller shelves later this month and will sell for $149 with a $60 rebate, Microsoft revealed last week.
The revised edition boasts more Australian content written by local editors, school curriculum guides and interactive video and audio clips which create "virtual tours".
One such tour features a virtual flight over the Sydney Opera House. Other new features include 19,000 Web links and a search engine able to pinpoint desired information quickly.
Together, these features have bought the Encarta series into the Internet age and it will be marketed as a valuable research and reference tool for school kids.
Microsoft has partnered with the Australian Conservation Foundation, which focuses on marine preservation, and will donate $5 from every copy of Encarta sold.
ACF president and former Midnight Oil lead singer Peter Garrett is one of the local editors who has contributed Australian content.
Microsoft has also upgraded the associated World English Dictionary and the Interactive World Atlas and is bundling them together with Encarta. This forms the Encarta Reference Suite 2000, which is selling for $199.