Final chapter nearing for Encarta

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Final chapter nearing for Encarta

Microsoft has revealed that it will be shutting down the Encarta online encyclopedia.

The company's notice page says that the site will be shut down on October 31 for most of the world.

The Japanese version of the site will carry on until December 31.

Users who subscribed to premium features will have their accounts credited for fees paid beyond April 30.

Additionally, the company will cease with the distribution of the Encarta Student and Encarta Premium software by the end of June.

Emerging in the early 90's, Encarta was one of the first encyclopedias to be offered in electronic form on CD-Rom discs. The collection was later taken online, but has since struggled in the face of sites such as Wikipedia and other online news and history collections.

The company said that the decision was based on an inevitable shift in the way people access information, making a hosted encyclopedia format impractical for the company.

"People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past," the company said.

"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."

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