Encarta to Fold (Its Last Page)

A post on Microsoft's Encarta website notes that the Encarta website, as well as the software products bearing the Encarta name, are being discontinued.

The posting was first noticed by Ars Technica. Microsoft said said it will discontinue its online Encarta products by October 31, except for Encarta Japan, which will run through the end of 2009. Additionally, Microsoft will no longer sell Microsoft Student and Encarta Premium software after June of this year.

Here's what Microsoft said:
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.
According to Wikipedia, which naturally has already been updated to reflect the above announcement, Encarta has been around since 1993:
Microsoft initiated Encarta by purchasing non-exclusive rights to the Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia, incorporating it into its first edition in 1993. In the late 1990s, Microsoft bought Collier's Encyclopedia and New Merit Scholar's Encyclopedia from Macmillan and incorporated them into Encarta. Thus the current Microsoft Encarta can be considered the successor of the Funk and Wagnalls, Collier, and New Merit Scholar encyclopedias. None of these formerly successful encyclopedias are still in print, being unable to adapt to the new market dynamics of electronic encyclopedias.
Well, it looks like Wikipedia can soon add that Encarta was not able to adapt, or at least compete with ... Wikipedia.

Via:  Ars Technica
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