Monday, May 04, 2009

Markets in Everything. Or Not.

This is the end of the line for Encarta. Microsoft recently announced that sales would soon cease and that the Encarta Web site, supported by advertising, would be shut down later this year.

It’s hard to look at the end of the Encarta experiment without the free and much larger Wikipedia springing immediately to mind. But Encarta arguably would have failed even without that competition. The Google-indexed Web forms a virtual encyclopedia that Encarta never had a chance of competing against.

~NY Times

Creative Destruction


2 Comments:

At 5/04/2009 6:48 PM, Anonymous Dr. T said...

The unedited, disorganized Wikipedia cannot replace real encyclopedias. Unfortunately, most people mistakely believe that Wikipedia is reliable enough to replace the World Book, Compton's, Grolier's, Encarta, or the Encyclopedia Britannica. Therefore, it is unsurprising that Encarta is dying. I expect most of the others to fail or to shrink markedly.

This is one of the few instances where the internet has weakened information exchange. The subscription online encyclopedias cannot compete with a free encyclopedia, despite the poor writing and frequent inaccuracies of the free one.

 
At 5/05/2009 7:49 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

I agree with Dr. T although I am drawn to Wikipedia out of laziness. I urge Microsoft and Bill G to reconsider.

 

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