Title: Microsoft's Student 2007 Word Count: 718 Summary: The previous versions of Encarta in cluded a host of homework tools. La st year, these have been made into a separate product called Microsoft Student. It has now been gainfully repackaged and very much enhanced. Keywords: Article Body: The previous versions of Encarta in cluded a host of homework tools. La st year, these have been made into a separate product called Microsoft Student. It has now been gainfully repackaged and very much enhanced. Among the new or revamped features : free online access to MSN Encarta Premium, Step-by-Step Math Solutio ns calculator, Step-by-Step Math Te xtbook Solutions, Triangle Solver, Equations Library, tutorials, and f oreign language help. MS Student co mes replete with the entire Encarta Premium encyclopedia! Homework assignments are the bane o f most students I know (not to ment ion their hard-pressed and nescient parents). This is mainly because o f the tedious and mind-numbing chor es of data mining and composition. Additionally, as knowledge multipli es every 5-10 years, few parents an d teachers are able to keep up. Enter Microsoft Student 2007 - a pr oductivity suite which, as we menti oned, includes the Encarta Encyclop edia, English and foreign language dictionaries, thesaurus, quotations library, assignment templates, tut orials, graphing calculator softwar e and a Web Companion. Similar to the Encarta, MS Student' s Web Companion obtains search resu lts from all the major search engin es without launching any additional applications (like a browser). Con tent from both the Encyclopedia and the Web is presented side by side. This augmentation explicitly adopt s 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 W eb Companion raises, though. Copyri ght-holders of Web content may feel that they have the right to be com pensated by Microsoft for the use i t makes of their wares in its comme rcial products. MS Student would do well to also in tegrate with new desktop search too ls from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, a nd others. Students will benefit fr om seamless access to content from all over - their desktop, their enc yclopedias, and the Web - using a s ingle, intuitive interface. MS Student's templates are actually clever adaptations of the popular Office suite of products - Word, Ex cel, and PowerPoint. They help the student produce homework plans and schedules, projects, book reports, presentations, research reports, ch arts, and analyses of problems in m ath, physics, and chemistry. Detail ed step-by-step tutorials, Quick St arters, and pop-up toolbars (menus) guide the student along the way in a friendly, non-intrusive manner. The graphing calculator is a wonder . It has both 2-D and 3-D capabilit ies and makes use of the full scree n. Aided by an extensive Equations Library, it does everything except cook: trigonometry, calculus, math, charting, geometry, physics, and chemistry. And everything in full c olor! For the student keen on the liberal arts and the humanities, Student 2 007 provides detailed Book Summarie s of almost 1000 classic works. Bes ides plot synopses, the student get s acquainted with the author's life , themes and characters in the tome s, and ideas for book reports. MS Student 2007 is a great contribu tion to learning. Inevitably, it ha s a few flaws and glitches. Start with the price. As productivi ty suites go, it is reasonably pric ed had its target population been a dult professional users. But, at $7 0-100, it is beyond the reach of mo st poor students and parents - its most immediate market niches. MS Student 2007 makes use of Micros oft's .Net technology. As most home computers lack it, the installer i nsists on adding it to the anyhow b loated Windows Operating System. Th ere is worse to come: the .Net vers ion installed by MS Student 2007 is plagued with security holes and vu lnerabilities. Users have to downlo ad service packs and patches from W indows Update if they do not wish t o run the risk of having their comp uters compromised by hackers. Fully installed on the hard disk, M S Student 2007 gobbles up less than its predecessors but still a whopp ing 4 Gb. That's a lot - even in an age of ever cheaper storage. Most homesteads still sport PCs with 20- 40 Gb hard disks. This makes MS Stu dent less suitable for installation on older PCs and on many laptops. Finally, there is the question of p ersonal creativity and originality. Luckily, MS Student does not spoon -feed its users. It does not substi tute for thinking or for study. On the contrary, by providing structur ed stimuli, it encourages the stude nt to express his or her ideas. It does not do the homework assignment s for the student - it merely helps rid them of time-consuming and mac hine-like functions. And it opens u p to both student and family the wo nderful twin universes of knowledge : the Encarta and the Web.