Microsoft’s once-mighty multimedia encyclopaedia, Encarta, is about to be no more – yet, a mere 15 years ago, its CD-enclosed pages provided access not just to all sorts of obscure and not-so-obscure facts but also to illustrations with which technology-literate children enlivened their homework. Recently, Microsoft announced that it is finishing the Encarta product, in both disk and online formats.


Comment: It took the dinosaurs – world leaders of their day – a whole age of the Earth before they died out. Encarta has come and gone in just 15 years or so. It’s a tribute, in a way, to the increasing pace of change in today’s world that – at least in technology terms – 15 years is more than a lifetime: it’s an era.

RIP, Encarta. Those who did, felt privileged to use you.