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Microsoft delivered the coup de grāce Monday to its dying Encarta encyclopedia, acknowledging what everyone else realized long ago: it just couldnt compete with Wikipedia, a free, collaborative project that has become the leading encyclopedia on the Web. In January, Wikipedia got 97 percent of the visits that Web surfers in the United States made to online encyclopedias, according to the Internet ratings service Hitwise. Encarta was second, with 1.27 percent.
See also: [encarta.msn.com...]
And no, I don't believe every single word that's on there any more than I believe every word in a newspaper or book for that matter. Sorry to veer off-topic but I felt the need to balance out all the anti-wiki stuff!
And agree that M$ may have missed an opportunity here, but then it often feels like they have never fully embraced the web and its possibilities - it sometimes seems more like a bit of an inconvenience for them and they kind of wish it hadn't happened. Not enough opportunities for control I guess.