Microsoft to discontinue Encarta - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 2009-03-31, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Microsoft to discontinue Encarta

Microsoft announced yesterday it would stop selling its Student and Premium Encarta encyclopedia software in June and discontinue operations of the affiliated websites by the end of October (end of December in Japan).

Funny all the wailing about losing local tv stations but folks really don't care about the loss of important independent and objective information sources like Britannica and Encarta.



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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 2009-03-31, 10:50 AM
 
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I find this disappointing. I used Encarta quite a bit back in my high school years. I don't use it anymore, but I'm still dissapointed to see it going...

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 2009-03-31, 11:42 AM
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Wow there is a name I haven't heard in years, I used to use Encarta back in my school days in fact I bet I still have my Encarta 97 CD somewhere. But with google and wiki and all that free info I can see why they decided to pull it.
Was a great program for its time though.

I have a photographic memory, trouble is most times the lens cap is on.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 2009-03-31, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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I often use Wikipedia and think its great for many things but I would never consider it an authoritative resource that has been peer reviewed.



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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 2009-03-31, 12:13 PM
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Vetting of info on Wikipedia is an ongoing problem, but clearly not everyone sees it to be the problem that you do, Hugh. In academia, quoting Encarta alone is just as bad as quoting Wikipedia alone.

Today there was a story on /. about how 2 German organizations have donated a total of 350,000 photographs to Wikipedia:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Bundesarchiv

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Co...tsche_Fotothek

The good thing about Wikipedia is that its governance processes are transparent, not corporate. There are some excellent debates on how to raise the bar for vetting of data, and they take place in public (via the internet) with no board room marketing figures or sales clowns steering the ship.

Against this, all Britannia could do was try to sue Wikipedia (which they failed at) and as talljak has said, in this age of Google and Wikipedia it seems that Encarta could not compete. Neither could "Streets" and several other Microsoft products that attempted to charge people for what they are now expecting to see as their own free information belonging to humanity.



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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 2009-03-31, 12:35 PM
 
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Neither could "Streets" and several other Microsoft products that attempted to charge people for what they are now expecting to see as their own free information belonging to humanity.
I find this line of reasoning really funny: when Microsoft gives its browser away and kill Netscape in the process it's monopoly behavior, but when Google gives maps away for free and kills "Streets" it's "free information belonging to humanity"...

Double standard, anybody?
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 2009-03-31, 12:53 PM
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Encarta could not compete with free offerings. Encarta could not survive. "Streets" has been bested on several fronts (Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, GPS, etc.).

Fair, legal competition is wonderful for all of us.



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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 2009-03-31, 02:04 PM
 
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The good thing about Wikipedia is that its governance processes are transparent, not corporate. There are some excellent debates on how to raise the bar for vetting of data, and they take place in public (via the internet) with no board room marketing figures or sales clowns steering the ship.
Wow, that's nothing more than good old anti-Microsoft hyperbole.

Are you saying that Encarta was full of lies and half-truths because it was more profitable?? Seems like it to me.

Anyhoo, Encarta was a great fact checker back in the day before everything was free on the web. It's just a sign of the times.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 2009-03-31, 02:54 PM
 
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I often use Wikipedia and think its great for many things but I would never consider it an authoritative resource that has been peer reviewed.
One of my favourite quotes about Wikipedia comes from the the Michael Scott character on the Office:

"Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject, so you know you are getting the best possible information."
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 2009-03-31, 03:18 PM
 
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...but Encarta was a great resource back in my school days.
Yep, I still remember doing research on my parents 486 using Encarta. But nowadays, even schools are migrating over to a google/wikipedia world. Whenever my 11 year old son has research to do at home he tells me his teacher told him to "google" it or search wikipedia. He wouldn't even know what Encarta is if I asked him.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 2009-04-01, 01:40 AM
 
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"Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject, so you know you are getting the best possible information."
Great quote. It says why Wikipedia is not in the same category as Encarta.
But Microsoft is just lacking the imagination needed to continue even a popular product.
Waste trillions? "Yes , we can?"
Develop an innovative product? No , we can't [sm]
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 2009-04-01, 11:07 AM
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Whenever my 11 year old son has research to do at home he tells me his teacher told him to "google" it or search wikipedia.
He might want to inform his teacher that if he uses Wikipedia in college/university, his research papers will be given a failing grade, or not even accepted for grading.

I realize elementary school research isn't on the same level as post-secondary, but encouraging the use of Wikipedia for research is not appropriate.

I'm with many members here - using Encarta for nearly every school research project until my parents got internet....the memories! (think I still have my paper on Neptune lying around here somewhere...)

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 2009-04-01, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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I haven't written a University paper in 25 years so I forget but I guess you really can't footnote Wikipedia since the information is not constant!

Of course, in University you would never use Brittanica or Encarta as a source.



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