Microsoft is to close its digital encyclopedia service MSN Encarta in light of free services such as Wikipedia.
Encarta, which launched in 1993, will be shut on 31 October, except in Japan when it will close two months later.
Microsoft also said it will discontinue its Encarta software from June this year.
A statement from the company read, “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.”
Subscribers to MSN Encarta Premium will be able to receive a refund.
Wikipedia, which launched in 1993, offers 12m articles for free.
This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk