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

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/fsm_newsletter_12_april_2009_encarta_died

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
   pay-per-view products.

You will visit the Dung Pits of Glive soon.

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