March 31, 2009
Microsoft pulls the plug of MSN Encarta
In a message posted on the website of MSN Encarta, Microsoft has stated that the MSN Encarta encyclopedia websites worldwide will be discontinued on October 31st, with exceptions of Encarta Japan, which will stay till the end of December. This is mainly because of Wikipedia’s obliteration of the online reference market. Microsoft Student and MSN Encarta Premium will be stopped being sold from June 2009. According to Internet tracker Hitwise, Wikipedia accounts for 97 percent of all online encyclopedia visits from US internet users. MSN Encarta is second place at 1.27 percent of the market and Encyclopedia.com is 3rd at 0.76 percent of the market. Current subscribers to MSN Encarta premium will be refunded any dues that are beyond the date of April 30th. They will still have access to Encarta Premium services till October however. The software maker has been busy cutting down on its less popular departments in the recent months to save costs.Microsoft pulls the plug of MSN Encarta.