We can call this the death of one monster and the rise of another. According to MSN Encarta website:
"Encarta Web sites worldwide will be discontinued, with the exception of Encarta Japan, which will be discontinued on December 31, 2009. Additionally, Microsoft will cease to sell Microsoft Student and Encarta Premium software products worldwide by June 2009. We understand that Encarta users may have questions regarding this announcement so we have prepared this list of questions and answers below. Please keep reading if you would like more information about these changes to Encarta.
Why are these Encarta Web sites and software products being discontinued?
Encarta has been a popular product around the world for many years. However, the category of traditional encyclopedias and reference material has changed. People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past. As part of Microsoft's goal to deliver the most effective and engaging resources for today's consumer, it has made the decision to exit the Encarta business.
Microsoft's vision is that everyone around the world needs to have access to quality education, and we believe that we can use what we've learned and assets we've accrued with offerings like Encarta to develop future technology solutions. In doing so, we feel strongly that we are making the right investments that will help make our vision a reality.
I remember my school days when I used to run around to get a copy of Encarta, my cousin gifted an encyclopedia book to me and I still have it. We never had a great resource like Wikipedia. Today Wikipedia is the most dominant resource on the website. Its one of the most used website today and the content quality is great. Also big difference between Encarta and Wikipedia is the commercial option. Wikipedia is totally free but you need to subscribe for Encarta encyclopedia. I am happy that encyclopedia is laid to rest. There is no way it's going to compete with Wikipedia and win the race.
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