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'?
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. 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
You will visit the Dung Pits of Glive soon.