Microsoft has quietly announced that it will be getting out of the competitive encyclopaedia business as it will stop selling its long-standing Encarta products and shutting down its website on MSN.
“Encarta has been a popular product around the world for many years. However, the category of traditional encyclopedias and reference material has changed,” Microsoft wrote in a posting.
“People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past. As part of Microsoft’s goal to deliver the most effective and engaging resources for today’s consumer, it has made the decision to exit the Encarta business.”
The website will be shut down on the last day of October, except for Encarta Japan, which will cease to exist on December 31. Microsoft Student and Encarta Premium will also stop selling by the end of June. Microsoft will also return the money back from your subscription fees from April 30, 2009.
For those who have the software, you will still be getting updates until October 2009, except for Japan, as they will get updates until December.