Chris Keall | Wednesday April 1 2009 - 09:31am
The National Business Review
Microsoft will close the book on its online encyclopaedia on October 31. Wikipedia bares some of the blame, but has its own problems.
During the 1990s, Microsoft's Encarta encyclopaedia, using content licensed from little-known Funk & Wagnalls, shook up the print industry.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica struggled against Microsoft's upstart, which was delivered on CD-ROM with many new consumer PCs.
But the new decade saw Encarta move online, but on the web it has been overwhelmed by the community-generated Wikipedia, which has millions of articles to Encarta's 50,000.
But Wikipedia is not having things all its own way. Today, the sites founder, Jimmy Wales, announced that is spin-off crowd-sourcing search engine, Wikia Search, will be shut down.
March 31, 2009
Microsoft accepts defeat to Wikipedia and kills off Encarta
Murad Ahmed, Technology Reporter
Microsoft has announced it will kill off Encarta, its encyclopaedia software and website, later this year, which has crumbled in the face of competition from Wikipedia, the leading encyclopaedia on the web.
After nearly 15 years since it arrived on shelves, Microsoft announced on its website that Encarta will stop being available by the end of the year in most places worldwide.
The move is a tacit acceptance that Microsoft could no longer compete with the overwhelming popularity of Wikipedia, the free online website that launched in 2001. In January, Wikipedia got 97 per cent of the visits that web users in the US made to online encyclopaedias, according to Hitwise, the internet tracking company. Encarta trailed in second, with 1.27 per cent.
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