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I have bought both Encarta and Britannica for years (EB in printed edition too: 32 volumes, 32.000 pages).

It rarely tries new things in the hope of luring visitors; in fact, it has changed little in a decade.

And yet every month 10 billion pages are viewed on the English version of Wikipedia alone.

Website and service closures will surely become even more commonplace now that we’re in the midst of a recession – Microsoft itself has already closed ACES Game Studio, which had made the seminal Flight Simulator series since 1988, as well as Ensemble, which crafted the classic Age of Empires series and, more recently, Halo Wars.

The closure of Encarta may resonate on a more scholarly level – or, more likely, on a much smaller level altogether - then a couple of still-relevant games studios but, even though I haven’t used Encarta in the best part of a decade, I’ll still miss it.