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Re: [News] [Rival] Microsoft May Have Killed Encarta by Buying It

Chris Ahlstrom wrote:

> After takin' a swig o' grog, Roy Schestowitz belched out
>   this bit o' wisdom:
>> Microsoft Encarta died - why? And will its contents be lost?
>> ,----[ Quote ]
>>| Microsoft has recently announced that its beloved encyclopaedia,
>>| Microsoft Encarta, will soon be discontinued. After October 31, 2009 its
>>| contents will no longer be available. Both the online version and the CD
>>| ROM version will be discontinued.
>>| The two main questions that come to mind,
>>| however, are: 'Why'?, and more importantly, 'What about the contents'?
>> `----
>> http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/articles
> Microsoft couldn't keep up, and here's why (from the article)
>    Then, years passed and the world changed quite drastically. The
>    Internet became reality, and Wikipedia was created. Some can say that
>    Wikipedia killed Encarta. To me, it's more like "free licensing and the
>    internet community killed Encarta". Compare Encarta's 62,000
>    entries with Wikipedia's 2,700,000 articles. And it's not just
>    about numbers, but quality: having used both of them, I feel I can say
>    that Wikipedia is simply better. Much better. And more current. The
>    reason is simple: Encarta wasn't better than Wikipedia because it
>    couldn't afford to be. Bill Gates could have spent the best part of
>    his fortune getting an extra 2,638,000 articles written up -- and get
>    them to the level and depth of Wikipedia. Assuming that he was
>    successful in doing so, however, it would have been totally
>    uneconomical: he would have never, ever made his money back.

That to me summarizes the whole existence of Open Source and open operating
systems like Linux. There is not enough closed source and commercial
engineers to create and maintain something as big as Linux and the entirety
of open source. Because it can NEVER be done through proprietory means, open
source has stepped up to doing it properly the open source way.

The OSes of the past are a just mere toys compared to the open source OS
like Linux. Linux is a vast powerhouse that can never be matched or
monetized using out dated business models. There is no need either because
where it actually turns into monetized units is
in the peripheral services it provides such as software support, supported
applications, embedded devices and web based services like google search
and these tend to be worth far more than the OS itself.

> Wikipedia
>    is so much stronger because it has a huge horde of users who will keep
>    on improving it and working on it, for free. That's the power of a
>    strong community working towards an end. But it's also about licensing:
>    Wikipedia's content is released under a free license -- the GNU
>    Free Documentation License, to be precise. This meant that "nobody
>    and everybody" owns Wikipedia's contents. All of it is available
>    online, whereas only a subset of Encarta was. Free licensing meant that
>    people reused Wikipedia's contents, which made it even more popular.
>    In the end, Wikipedia just won everybody's heart, and obscured
>    pay-per-view products.

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