Say goodbye to Microsoft Encarta

Arstechnica reports about Microsoft’s decision to discontinue the popular electronic encyclopaedia which I have been a loyal user for many years.

“When I first saw this, I had to do a double take. I made sure it wasn’t April 1 at least three times before I conceded. While looking around Encarta’s homepage today, I stumbled on a message that Microsoft was getting rid of MSN Encarta completely: "On October 31, 2009, MSN 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." Looks like employees at Wikipedia and Encyclopaedia Britannica will be throwing parties tonight.”

Read the entire article here

First Microsoft Picture It!, then Microsoft Money, then Windows Live OneCare, now Encarta, Microsoft’s commercial consumer products are slowly dwindling. I can’t say it wasn’t inevitable, since there was no 2009 release. But Wikipedia has indeed contributed to this decision I believe. I personally use it more than ever. Its just that it lacks the multimedia aspect of Encarta which combines it well written articles. The Internet has changed a lot how we access and consume information, the instantaneous and wealth of resources vastly out numbers 1 DVD on which Encarta includes a thousands of articles by billions. Also, relevancy and constant updates make the Internet a superior choice. Although Wikipedia will now and then be vandalized, the accuracy of information written has been top notch and is a number one reference point for me.

Internet Explorer 8’s features a new tabbed Search on the fly option which allows you to quickly change Search engines based on your query. I use Wikipedia a lot, it’s very cumbersome having to type in the query through Google, search for it then open Wikipedia. With this feature, you are taken immediately to the source, which is sure to be a hit with those who want a more detailed browsing experience with better results. new tabbed search feature makes referencing information from Wikipedia and other sources a great asset.

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