Monday, July 27, 2009

Microsoft should contribute the content of Encarta encyclopedia to Wikipedia / Wikimedia Foundation

Microsoft has decided to discontinue the Encarta line of products, as well as the associated online websites. I assert that Microsoft should contribute the content of all languages of Encarta products to the Wikimedia Foundation, from where this high-quality content can be appropriately added to the various Wikimedia Foundation projects such as Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, etc. This of course means that Microsoft contribute only those portions of Encarta that it owns, as opposed to the content it has licensed from third-parties.

In my opinion, such a move:
  1. Will gain Microsoft a large quantity of favorable press coverage, leading to an overall improvement in the image of the Microsoft brand among Open Source communities, news media, and general public
  2. Will give Wikipedia a much-needed shot in the arm, and make it a significantly more useful service for students and other sections of the society
  3. Will not have have any meaningfully unfavorable implications for any of Microsoft's various businesses
An alternative is to have the Wikimedia Foundation host and manage an online version of Encarta ("").

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Email service now active on

Finally, I've setup an email service on my domain name - (though the website itself has no content yet).

The mail service went online at about 9 PM IST, on July 25, 2009. I intend to use my email-address strictly for professional purposes.

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