by David Safier
I was never a big encyclopedia fan — the 25 volume Britannica I grew up with in my living room pretty much gathered dust in my literate household — but the end of Encarta, Microsoft's digital encyclopedia, merits notice. In the internet age, it no longer serves much purpose. Its last gasp has been international sales in unwired regions of the world.
Interesting historical fact. The original plan was to sell Encarta — based on Funk & Wagnalls, since Britannica and World Book weren't interested — for $1,000 to $2,000. Its actual opening price was $395. Then it was $99. Then $29.95. Finally $22.95.
I don't think Wikipedia doomed Encarta's. More likely it was Google.