Microsoft has announced that the company’s long-standing multimedia encyclopedia, Encarta will be discontinued on Halloween 2009. With Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica available, we assume not too many of you will be upset save for the nostalgic few who remember using it as a reference for school assignments back in the day.
Announcing the decision in a note on the Encarta website, Microsoft pointed to the changes that have taken place in the world of electronic encyclopedias over the years Encarta has been available:
"The category of traditional encyclopedias and reference material has changed. People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past,” the post explains.
“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 continued.
MSN Encarta worldwide with the exception of Japan, will be shut down on October 31, 2009. The Japanese site will be discontinued on December 31, 2009. PC World reports that those who have paid for Encarta Premium will get a refund for fees paid beyond April 30 and can continue to use the site through until October.
How many of you actively still use Encarta and are upset by this news? I’m going to go out on a limb and say very few. Let us know if you use Encarta and why you prefer it over the other options out there.