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2009 / August 2008; 9 years ago ( 2008-08) Website at the (archived October 31, 2009) Microsoft Encarta was a published by from 1993 to 2009. Originally sold on or, it was also later available on the World Wide Web via an annual subscription – although later many articles could also be viewed free online with advertisements. By 2008, the complete English version, Encarta Premium, consisted of more than 62,000 articles, numerous photos and illustrations, music clips, videos, interactive content, timelines, maps, atlases and homework tools. Microsoft published similar encyclopedias under the Encarta trademark in various languages, including,,,,, and. Localized versions contained contents licensed from national sources and more or less content than the full English version.
For example, the Dutch version had content from the Dutch encyclopedia. In March 2009, Microsoft announced it was discontinuing both the Encarta disc and online versions. The Encarta site was closed on October 31, 2009 in all countries except, where it was closed on December 31, 2009. Microsoft continued to operate the Encarta online dictionary at dictionary.msn.com until 2011.
Contents • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • History [ ] After the successes of (1989) and (1992), Microsoft initiated Encarta, under the internal codename 'Gandalf', by purchasing non-exclusive to the Encyclopedia, incorporating it into its first edition in 1993. (Funk & Wagnalls continued to publish revised editions for several years independently of Encarta, but then ceased printing in the late 1990s.) Launch [ ] The name Encarta was created for Microsoft by an advertising agency and launched in 1993 as a $395 product, although it soon dropped to $99, and was often into the price of a new computer purchase. In the late 1990s, Microsoft added content from and New Merit Scholar's Encyclopedia from into Encarta after purchasing them. Thus the final Microsoft Encarta can be considered the successor of the Funk and Wagnalls, Collier, and New Merit Scholar encyclopedias. None of these formerly successful encyclopedias remained in print for long after being merged into Encarta. Microsoft introduced several regional versions of Encarta translated into languages other than English.
For example, the version was introduced in 1999 and suspended in 2002. The version was somewhat smaller than the English one, at 42,000 articles. Move to the web [ ] In 2000, the full Encarta content became available on the to subscribers, with a subset available for free to anyone. Demise [ ] In July 2006, Websters Multimedia, a subsidiary of London-based Websters International Publishers, took over maintenance of Encarta from Microsoft.
The last version was Encarta Premium 2009, released in August 2008. Microsoft announced in April 2009 that it would cease to sell and all editions of Encarta Premium software products worldwide by June 2009, citing changes in the way people seek information, and in the traditional encyclopedia and reference material market, as the key reasons behind the termination. Updates for Encarta were offered until October 2009. Additionally, MSN Encarta web sites were discontinued around October 31, 2009, with the exception of Encarta Japan which was discontinued on December 31, 2009.
Existing MSN Encarta Premium (part of ) subscribers were refunded. The demise of Encarta was widely attributed to competition from the free and user-generated, which, from small beginnings in 2001, grew to be larger than Encarta, thanks to popularization by web search services like. By the time of the announcement of its closure in April 2009, Encarta had about 62,000 articles, most behind a, while the had over 2.8 million articles in.
By the time of Encarta 's closure in December 2009, the English Wikipedia had over 3.1 million articles. Contents and features [ ] Encarta 's standard edition included approximately 50,000 articles, with additional images, videos and sounds. The premium editions contained over 62,000 articles and other content, such as 25,000 pictures and illustrations, over 300 videos and animations, and an interactive atlas with 1.8 million locations. Its articles were integrated with multimedia content and could include links to websites selected by its. Encarta 's articles in general were less lengthy and more summarized than the printed version of or the online. Like most multimedia encyclopedias, Encarta 's articles tended to provide an overview of the subject rather than an exhaustive coverage and can only be viewed one at a time. A sidebar could display alternative views,, journals or original materials relevant to the topic.