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Microsoft Encarta Adopting Wikiesque Process

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the i-love-making-up-words dept.

Microsoft 314

An anonymous reader writes "The MSN Encarta program manager announced that readers of Microsoft's encyclopedia articles can now edit articles in a Wikipedia-like fashion. Once submitted, edits are reviewed by Encarta staff members for accuracy, readability, and proofreading before being incorporated into the article." From the post: "To support this program, we've hired some new research editors. Their job will be to help you out with things like fact-checking, syntax, and editorial style. Every writer can use a good editor, and we see no reason that community contributors deserve any less." J adds: This won't be a big surprise, but "Your submissions to Encarta must be your own work" and "you grant Microsoft permission to use, copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, modify, translate and reformat your Submission."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

First that, then this?! (4, Funny)

Silverlancer (786390) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178408)

First Britannica takes over Wikipaedia, and now, one week later, Encarta announces wikification? What a world we live in!

Re:First that, then this?! (4, Interesting)

balster neb (645686) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178456)

But seriously, does this mean that Encarta users contribute additional content and then give rights over to Microsoft? Microsoft controls contributed content, and then sells it to others for money? Nice.

I remember Microsoft, a few years ago called Encyclopedia Britannica a "relic" for not having enough multimedia content. Now, this move by Microsoft makes Encarta look like a relic compared to Wikipedia.

Can you criticize Microsoft on MS Encarta? (5, Interesting)

vivin (671928) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178505)

Seems like a good idea. Although as a somewhat frequent wikipedia contributor, I like the idea of seeing my words in "print" (for lack of a better word) immediately. The article says that you would submit your encyclopedia article which would be reviewed, and then edited by a bunch of reviewers. So the turnaround time is definitely longer than wikipedia.

Fostering a community spirit might be somewhat harder, I think due to the fact that the community isn't really actively involved in editing each other's works and contributing. It still goes through a review process, and the reviewers have the final say.

Wikipedia's strength (and some might say, weakness) is due to the large userbase that works on articles. Hence there is a broad spectrum of opinions and views when in the end sort of balances out. Would there be some sort of inherent bias due to the review process? I mean, does there have be any set of "officially sanctioned" view? Wikipedia [] has an article on Wikipedia criticisms [] . Can we expect to see an article that criticizes Microsoft or MS Encarta ON MS Encarta? That would be interesting.

Re:Can you criticize Microsoft on MS Encarta? (5, Insightful)

Orgazmus (761208) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178589)

An article, by Microsoft (or published by), criticizing Microsoft? I really dont think so.

A community page that cant criticize itself and its creator(s), really dont have anything to do with being a community.
This is just Microsoft wanting free articles.

Forget 'criticism', let's (4, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178762)

Searched Encarta for 'wikipedia'
No results were found for your search in Encarta.

ahref= [] http://e>

Forget being noncritical of Microsoft; let's ignore the competition, too! They don't even have anything on Linux save a mention in Open Source Software [] .

All I can say is.. (4, Funny)

ShaniaTwain (197446) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178541)

..Thank goodness for innovation!

now wheres that patent application?

Re:All I can say is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178635)

You dont impress me much.

Who owns the content? (2, Interesting)

vivin (671928) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178577)

Under wikipedia, the information is GPL'ed. They even say that you should contribute only if you want to (possibly) see your words be ripped apart and modified mercilessly. Wikipedia's content is covered by the FSF's GNU Free Documentation License []

So does this information belong to MS, or everyone?

Encarta can't be as "fresh" as Wikipedia (4, Interesting)

vivin (671928) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178628)

Once thing I've noticed about wikipedia is that articles are updated within hours of new information or breaking news. I don't see that happening with Encarta, due to this reviewing process.

Re:First that, then this?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178471)

Mod parent "funny" or "troll", you idiots. He's referring to an april fool's day joke.

Re:First that, then this?! (1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178477)

I've just realised that my comment below may have some substance. to counter this abomination:
FUCk fUCk fuckitty fucuk cunty turd ARSE DICK ssatan toss licker cumsucking pile of poo

It had to be... (5, Funny)

Sensible Clod (771142) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178412)

1. Imitate what is obviously an excellent encyclopedia system.

2. Patent it under some dumb name.

3. ???

4. Profit! In Soviet Microsoft, software patents edit YOU!!!

Seriously, though, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, etc...

Re:It had to be... Apologies to Horst (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178546)

Wikipedia, the free "online encyclopedia" has been hailed as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Anybody can access it free of charge, anyone can add to it, and there's any entry for everything. Right?

It turns out that the great advantage of the Wikipedia, the wiki format, which allows everybody to add/edit everything, is also its greatest disadvantage. There are a few topics that I care about, a few of which I actually contributed to the German version of Wikipedia. Watching these entries change over the past few months, I noticed the following tendencies:


Most contributions are poorly researched, or not researched at all. Accuracy depends mostly on the one website from which the contributor copied the information. A substantial amount of Wikipedia entries contains information that I know to be incorrect.

There is no editorial selection. Some entries just grow and grow because some enthusiast who has no sense for what's important and what's not keeps adding pointless stuff to some entries.

Due to extensive linkage within Wikipedia itself, a growing number of badly researched, incorrect Wikipedia articles is pushing down well-researched specialist websites in Google rankings.

Text and concepts for Wikipedia entries are often blatantly copied from other websites. To avoid instant recognition, the text is sometimes rewritten, adding inaccuracies, inconsistencies or even errors. Due to the nature of the content and the open format of Wikipedia, no copyright holder can do anything about this.

Wikipedia generates noise, not knowledge. Previous encyclopedias were well-researched and contained precise information that could be trusted to be correct. Wikipedia, on the other hand, contains a large amount of errors, omissions and superfluous trivia.

Basically, what is happening here is the building of a parallel World Wide Web inside the domain and calling it an "encyclopedia", which is a total perversity. Just making it searchable and giving it an encyclopedia-like structure doesn't make its content any less fluffy, error-ridden and amateurish than any other website.

I hope that in a few years it will be so bloated that it will simply disintegrate, because I can't stand the thought that this thing might someday actually be used as a serious reference source. Because in its current form, it's not to be taken serious at all.

Re:It had to be... Apologies to Horst (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178751)

This mirrors some of my experiences. Basically, what Larry Sanger said was right, only the phrasing "anti-elitist" was unfortunate.

WP discourages spending much time on an article. After all, the next guy will just pop his 5-minutes thoughts right into it, or as you said add trivia upon trivia or - frequently - paste some weirdo stuff or conspiracy, thus diluting the real content. They just covered your work in a piece of BS.

Even worse, if you or someone else doesn't "defend" your article, it could be completely defaced/rewritten when you're not watching. Proof of this is that often the best articles are the ones from the "lone hobbyist", writing undisturbed about her/his favorite subject.

Re:It had to be... (1)

disposable60 (735022) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178565)

When it's MS doing the imitating, imitation is the sincerest form of flattening.

Me Too! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178414)

I can't imagine that this will actually work, I mean how many people submit/modify Wikipedia articles each day? It will be impossible for Microsoft's small (in comparison) payed staff to sift through hundreds, even thousands of changes, even if they use an automated filter to reduce the number of poor submissions. The page says a submission may take weeks before it appears, and I think this is being optimistic. In the end I question if this will even yield higher quality articles than Wikipedia, this just seems like Microsoft saying, hey look "me too!"

Re:Me Too! (1)

tlpalmer (800391) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178481)

Maybe they could use this [] to ease the sifting process.

Re:Me Too! (4, Insightful)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178629)

It's possible that because Microsoft will be filtering through a staff rather than immediately accepting updates, that fewer people will post because they know that their updates won't necessarily even be used.

Of course, since it's Microsoft, the company a considerable number of people love to hate, you could also see the anti-Micro$oft crowd trying to DOS their poor encyclopaedia staff with bogus submissions, but I hope folks aren't THAT hard-up for something to do.

Re:Me Too! (4, Insightful)

Neopoleon (874543) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178768)

"I can't imagine that this will actually work"

That's a great attitude. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

"It will be impossible for Microsoft's small (in comparison) payed staff to sift through hundreds, even thousands of changes, even if they use an automated filter to reduce the number of poor submissions."


So you've tried it?

We couldn't possibly know the chances of success without having more information. I work for the company, and *I* don't even have any idea how many people we've hired to handle this.

There are also assumptions being made here about the volume of changes. It could be that the type of person who is an Encarta customer isn't the type of person who likes to submit corrections/additions, and that the overall traffic might be very *low*.

I say give it a chance. At worst, it will quietly fail, and nobody gets hurt.

At best, Encarta becomes a community effort.

Sounds like it's worth the risk to me.

"this just seems like Microsoft saying, hey look 'me too!'"

It's actually very difficult to find *anything* in the tech world that doesn't somehow fall under the category of "me too!"

Frankly, I'm glad that Microsoft is more concerned with getting a quality product out than with its image as an innovator.

The fact is, people seem to like Wikipedia, and we're giving it a shot ourselves, not because of the "Hey - we need to be like Wikipedia" factor, but because it seems like a good idea.

Not only that, but I actually rather like the idea here (and this post is the first I've heard of it). Adding a panel to review submissions for accuracy seems like a good move. If it works, then I think it will greatly enhance the value of the product.

But, then, I'm biased. I *do* own stock in the company :)

To follow ... (2, Insightful)

foobsr (693224) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178417)

Select one:

positiv: So MS values the "Wikiesque Process"
neutral: An interesting develpment
negative: Who will own the copyright? Surely M$!


Re:To follow ... (2, Funny)

Voxus (870217) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178507)

Schroedinger's select: I choose all possible states, to be resolved when someone actually tries the process.

/. jokes (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178418)

Get ready for a stream of jokes about how /. should do the same...

Re:/. jokes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178449)

Jokes? What makes you think they're joking?

Re:/. jokes (2, Funny)

-kertrats- (718219) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178644)

I believe that's called 'Totalfark'.

Re:/. jokes (1)

panaceaa (205396) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178654)

I was surprised that spelling wasn't listed...

And what is "checking for proofreading" anyway?? Does this mean Encarta editors are merely going to ask you if you proofread your submission?

Pattern? (5, Interesting)

cybersaga (451046) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178421)

Microsoft Writes Open Source Child Porn Buster []
Longhorn to use UNIX-like User Permissions []
"Readers of Microsoft's encyclopedia articles can now edit articles in a Wikipedia-like fashion"


Re:Pattern? (3, Insightful)

TheCabal (215908) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178468)

Yeah, for a group of people who hate Microsoft, they sure do talk about it a lot.

The Cabal -1 Flamebate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178695)

Your comment is the clearest example of flamebate I have evar witnessed.

Re:Pattern? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178601)

How come MS is four years behind everyone else and they still make the news about it?

What's next?

Microsoft unveils new social-networking tool!

Microsoft registers

Re:Pattern? (5, Insightful)

brontus3927 (865730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178689)

The five stages of grief [] are
  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance
I don't know that a business can be depressed in the emotional sense of the word, but I think Microsoft's strategy RE:Linux has fit this overall theme. I'd say MS is currently moving into the Barganing stage. Hopefully Acceptance won't be that far off. One /.er made a snide remark about a future with a MS Linux distro. The chances of that aren't great, but I would love to see it happen.

Microsoft's inital position on Linux has been harsh, but do remember, Linux is 1)direct competition to Windows and 2)has a radically differnt philosophy that basically attacks the core of Microsoft's business model. How would anyone here feel if someone sprang up in direct competion to the way you live your life? How do any of us react to luddites and technophobes? Very similarly in spirit to MS's initial reaction to Linux.
But the shock is starting to where off and Microsoft is realizing that Linux isn't going away. So their learning and changing.

The changes in Encarta aren't just about embracing wiki. Microsoft's corporate buzzwords, the backbone of the feature set promoted in Office 2003 are integration and colaboration. Microsoft is simply extending that.

Re:Pattern? (5, Funny) (782137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178690)

We really should have patented busting child pornographers, UNIX permissions and Wikis a long time ago... ...we'd be ROLLING in it, for fucks sake.

Re:Pattern? (2, Funny)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178702)

Microsoft is making an open source kiddy porn wiki?

Be gentle... (0)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178430)

Not that I'm trying to troll here, but two reasons a Wikipedia-esque method of editing Encarta would appeal to M$ immediately come to mind:

- Now they can have the end-users do the work of editing, just as they've always had the end-users do the work of beta-testing their products (involuntarily, of course).

- They don't need to work out a process for the edits...all they have to do is lift it from Wikipedia.

I only hate M$ because I make my living supporting them.

Is it just me... (2, Insightful)

Morlark (814687) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178436)

Is it just me, or does this sound like Microsoft wants users to write their encyclopedia for them?

Re:Is it just me... (1)

Urusai (865560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178542)

I don't know who wrote their stuff originally, but they probably had to pay a nominal fee to the expert authors. Now, they won't. Summary:

1. Replace professional content providers with random anonymous strangers.
2. Outsource your editing/fact-checking to India.
3. Profit!

Re:Is it just me... (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178602)

This is Slashbotsmanship at its worse. Wikipedia is fine and good, but when Microsoft does it: EBIL EBIL MICRO$OPH7!

Re:Is it just me... (1)

phauxfinnish (698087) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178677)

There is a difference. Microsoft wants users to write articles that Microsoft will sell for a profit to Microsoft. Wikipedia wants users to write articles for the users themselves. Wikipedia is not trying to sell the improvements made by users back to them.

Why? (1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178443)

wikipedia is a self perpetuating ball of turd that only servers to feed itself. No one else cares! its not really wikipedia, its just an easy method of contribution. (4, Funny)

kesler (576674) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178446)

What are the odds that they'd approve this article? [] (4, Insightful)

Lispy (136512) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178552)

First of all: chill down. This link leads to a real artivle not an offensive image.
Second: I must say that Wiki serves me pretty well especially with some cryptic webtrends/names wich I sometimes don't get the first time. It's a great source if you want to know more about things you wouldn't find in any other encyclopedia. This is where Encarta will come in second place I guess.

s/adopting/improving/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178453)


Yes, but (4, Funny)

AEton (654737) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178454)

will their encyclopedia be digitally signed?

I don't know how I can trust it otherwise.

Ummm.... (5, Interesting)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178460)

Why would I want to spend time to contribute something for free so that Microsoft can turn around and sell it for a profit?

What's next, and "community" site to allow programmers to write new applications for Microsoft to sell?

Ummm....BSD (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178495)

"Why would I want to spend time to contribute something for free so that [Apple] can turn around and sell it for a profit?"

Re:Ummm.... (1)

bskin (35954) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178582)

You do realize the GPL expressly allows people to sell your free contributions, right?

Re:Ummm.... (2, Insightful)

codeonezero (540302) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178732)

(first IANAL) However, it also means that derivative works (see GPL definition of this) that use the GPL material must be freely available. So you can still sell it, nobody is going to stop you, but the buyer has the same rights you have. You must make the source available to the buyer and the buyer can then turn around and distribute it freely or sell it again for profit.

In any case Wikipedia is licensed under GNU Free Document License, not GPL, though I hear they are similar. I have not read the wikipedia license yet.

BECAUSE.. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178592)

Wikipedia is useless in getting true information in most cases, it only demonstrates the folly of trying to achieve truth by group consensus.

Someone says the Earth is round , someone else say it is flat. They can argue about it till the cows come home , but the only way to put the matter to rest is to compromise and say it is square. So then of course Wikipedia will wind up with the asinine statement that the Earth is square. So then the reader comes along and reads the article and thinks he made a step forward when he actually made a step backwards to his quest for knowledge.

It does not matter that Wikipedia has half a million articles if the bulk of them are loaded with the nutty opinions and hearsay of mouth-foaming raving lunatics pounding away at their keyboards day and night in their personal Jihad to get their version of the world published on Wikipedia.

Just try to edit any controversial topic on Wikipedia and see what happens within 15 minutes.

It is scary when you think about it , we are now spreading so much misinformation through the internet through sites like Wikipedia that appear on the surface as legitimate sources but which in reality are mostly conduits of partisan propaganda.

There used to be a time when Knowledge was the result of real research and facts. Wikipedia and other similar sites have turned knowledge into a duel of dissenting opinions.

Truth will never be what the editors of Wikipedia and other such sites say it is, Truth is what is regardless of what we would want the world to believe.

Wikipedia should do the world a favor and at the very least cut the academic pretense and announce that it is only a collection of opinions on any given topic.

Re:Ummm.... (1)

kesler (576674) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178665)

Why would I want to spend time to contribute something for free so that Microsoft can turn around and sell it for a profit?

Why would Linus Torvald want to spend time to contribute something for free so that Novell can turn around and sell for a profit?

Re:Ummm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178766)

Because that makes Linux a rockstar among programmers and he can command big bucks merely for his notoriety.

I just hope Microsoft don't patent this. (0, Offtopic)

Ailure (853833) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178461)

Seriously, they probably will not. As a patent on the "wiki" system is far-fetched. ...then, many patents are far-fetched but still get through. Soon someone patent the wheel too.

Re:I just hope Microsoft don't patent this. (1)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178487)

Prior art? I imagine Walt Cunningham [] , the acknowledged inventor of the Wiki, would be pretty pissed ...

Re:I just hope Microsoft don't patent this. (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178733)

Oh, I'm
that MS
all fruity
call it
a kiwi,
with sufficient
to stand erect
in court.

Errr ... (3, Funny)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178571)

The wheel? It's been done [] .

Premium Wiki (-1, Offtopic)

amigoro (761348) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178465)

I wanted do a search on Encarta about Microsoft. I wanted to know what they thought of themselves. And I wanted to correct a few mistakes. And then I was faced with this []

I will stick to Wiki

Re:Premium Wiki (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178605)

It's far from offtopic. He's trying to show that you have to pay to read Encarta articles, while Wiki articles are free.

Re:Premium Wiki (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178651)

But that's obvious

Bud Light Presents Real Men of Genius (5, Funny)

0kComputer (872064) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178467)

Bud Light Presents Real Men of Genius
(Real Men of Genius)
Today we salute you Mr. Aaron Patterson
(Mr. Aaron Patterson)
Where would this world be without you and your innovations like typing into your address bar and copying virtually every feature off of it.
(Mr Copycat)
Thanks you for giving us the brilliant new features of user contributions and a clean fresh design just like
(Who do you think you're fooling?)
Few men are brave enough to steal an idea and call it their own, but you have no problem posting about it on your blog.
(Look at ME!)
So crack open an ice cold Bud Light Mr Aaron Patterson You have high standands when it come to the online encyclopedia industry, and intelectual property
(Mr. Aaron Patterson)

Re:Bud Light Presents Real Men of Genius (5, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178494)

Except they actually have editors that validate the information and do some basic fact-checking.

Something that wiki and slashdot both lack.

Sad but true (1)

bird603568 (808629) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178472)

imitation is the highest form of flattery. Microsoft will have a unix style users (I didn't read the article only the head line) andy now wkiki style? Maybe they should open the source? (but they wont)

Editor review before accepting modification (5, Interesting)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178473)

I think this is a good idea, perhaps better than wikipedia's current setup. For starting out an article, it's less than desireable but at some point an article has to be "finished" for most purposes. In the same way articles at wikipedia are nominated for "featured article" status, perhaps articles should also be nominated for "finished" status at which point they should become harder to edit. Also, then you could get an independent authority to stamp it as "accurate," something with which wikipedia will always have trouble if they don't change.

[Peer] review before accepting modification (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178548)

But, but, editors are members of the "Old, and busted" business model. The "New, and hotness" business model doesn't need those "money grubbing" editors. Just like Music doesn't need middle-men to sound good.

Remember the Internet will solve all of man's ills.

Re:Editor review before accepting modification (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178641)

That was the old setup, with wikipedia and nupedia. In the end nupedia died though and wikipedia continued on, on its own.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178480)

Is this like the United States claiming communism was bad because of Russia's ID requirements and then turning around and implementing those same requirements they had previously criticized? I think so.

gah, why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178482)

why support open source when you can just copy it?
all the "user support" with all the proprietary systems you could want!

The following entries would be interesting then... (4, Funny)

Vexler (127353) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178483)

1) Monopoly
2) Linux
3) SCO
4) Longhorn
5) U.S. Department of Justice

Re:The following entries would be interesting then (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178536)

Linux is a fringe, open-source operating system-like hobby project for a handful of computer architectures. It is much less reliable and much more expensive than Microsoft Windows.

The neutrality of this article is undisputed.

This confirms it (5, Funny)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178486)

the universe is now about to be slashdotted [] with M$ rewriting history, /. paradoxes and all. If you don't believe me, then why have there been so many dupes lately: TIME PERIODS ARE COVERGING.

The end is the beginning, the end of days, dogs and cats living together. Tux and Clippy playing ring around the posie (sp?)

Microsoft, get out of the way... (1)

Xentor (600436) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178488)

Your encyclopedia is garbage. I tested it. I looked up "Spork" on both Encarta and Wikipedia... Guess which one gave an answer!

Obvious what they want... (3, Insightful)

NigelJohnstone (242811) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178496)

"Dns cache poisoning"
Separate articles on Cache, DNS and Poison none useful.

None found, Suggests searching Wikipedia with Google or Yahoo, Google suggests this: []

Which has a link to this one: []

Shows you how fresh Wikipedia is, it looks like the DNS Cache poisioning page is too new to be indexed by either Google or Yahoo.
More to the point I can see why Microsoft wants to go the same way.

open source vs. proprietary (3, Insightful)

cahiha (873942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178508)

Open source: users do all the testing, bug reporting, and create the content.

Proprietary: same as open source, except you pay some company for the privilege, again and again

open source vs. proprietary-Crockery. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178603)

"Open source: users do all the testing, bug reporting, and create the content."

And are lousy at GUI's and Documentation.

"Proprietary: same as open source, except you pay some company for the privilege, again and again"

Why? Did your old software suddenly stop working?

Job Opening! (1)

ogleslurp (631509) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178521)

Be objective and factual. A good encyclopedia article describes a topic in a precise, straightforward manner that is free of bias and opinion. If an issue has two sides, both sides should be presented in an objective manner.

I can't wait to see what the "Microsoft" entry is gonna look like after a while. They're gonna need to hire an editor/firefighter for that entry alone. It'll be a full time job!

next thing you know... (4, Funny)

Viceice (462967) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178524)

Microsoft releases WinXP kernel under GPL

Smart move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178528)

Publishing an article in MS Encarta is more prestigious, and the editor scheme deals with the problem that some may be tempted to submit their work to Wikipedia in parallel. MS really knows how to harvest what others sowed.

What if you write something critical of Microsoft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178530)

I'm sure they will *cough* have no problem *cough* with anything written that is critical of Microsoft.

*cough* *cough* *cough* *cough* *cough* *cough* *cough* *cough* *cough* *cough*

Re:What if you write something critical of Microso (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178738)

Know what?

I think an encyclopaedia should stick to factual information, and not philosophical or political rants.

I sure hope they wouldn't put any of the type of drivel slashbots spew into Encarta.

There's too much of it in Wikipedia, which is good, because it guarantee's that anyone with a brain reading it will never, ever, forget that it's an amateur hack-job.

Never will (or should) you be able to cite Wikipedia in, say, your Master's thesis, and expect to pass.

Errr ... business as usual? (4, Interesting)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178531)

This is GOOD for all those (poor) people still using Encarta. My first thought when I saw Wikipedia was the idea that knowledge could be updated - not just major important stuff (Pope -> previous Pope) but less important stuff as well (almost all processors are 32-bit --> a number of 64-bit microprocessors have been released, etc.). You get the picture.

And now Encarta will have that. Which is a GOOD thing. If you want to create an encyclopedia, you go with Wikipedia (or H2G2, or Everything2). If you want to help improve Encarta, because you use it a lot, NOW YOU CAN. It's just a feature, people.

Re:Errr ... business as usual? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178616)

I hope you're not suggesting that the Pope is more important than 64-bit processors?

Patent {click} (1)

Skiron (735617) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178550)

Any idea that someone thought of and implemented years ago that:

a) Microsoft found on the Internet
b) Microsoft starting using
c) Microsoft patents the idea (see 'Patent' in MSN)
d) Microsoft sues the pants of everybody using it.

fact-checking? (4, Funny)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178555)

Anyone want to bet that their "fact checkers" just head over to wikipedia to check the submissions?

Ken (2, Insightful)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178567)

So this is what they hired Ken Jennings to do! It all makes sense now.

And the new features are... (2, Funny)

shashark (836922) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178569)

So, here are the interesting features they've added -- in their own words:

(1) The "Encarta Answers" service for getting instant answers to your questions will be available in four new languages. Repeat "FOUR" new languages. Boy, was that tough!

(2) Whole site gets a new makeover, with a simpler, cleaner design. It makes all of our pages load a bit faster, too. Yep, we figure somehow clean sites are not only cleaner, they are a lot clear too. And that makes more space for all those ads too.

(4) Last but not least, we stopped showing ads to Encarta Premium users! This is something that many of you have asked for, and we decided to do the right thing for our customers. Look, no ads when you pay. Now are we great customer lovers or what!
The third feature will be due next version.

Patented (1)

denissmith (31123) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178581)

Hasn't Wikipedia patented a " method of creating and maintaining a self-organizing and self-correcting information resource with open network access"?

Luckily, (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178587)

Luckily for us all, Microsoft's EMBRACE, EXTEND, and EXTINGUISH will not take root in this case.

Welcome to the Cathedral. (1)

lheal (86013) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178590)

"Every writer can use a good editor, and we see no reason that community contributors deserve any less."

That's a sneaky way to spin the question of user-edited vs. MS-edited.

But then, if they let the users edit themselves, why would anyone need Microsoft?

Come to think of it, that's a good question. Why does anyone need Microsoft?

I wonder if.. (2, Interesting)

karn096 (807073) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178604)

they accept openoffice edited articles...

How? (2, Interesting)

Sv-Manowar (772313) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178614)

If Microsoft are going to have a team to check over every piece of data entered/edited, didn't they do their research?

Wikipedia works so well because of the volume of information that is changed, and that is changed in real time. Microsoft would need a HUGE team, or have to outsource, and although an outsourced encyclopedia would prove comedic, it wouldn't be useful.

Why ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178640)

Why post articles on encarta, rather than wikipedia ?

Socialistic Capitalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178657)

Nice to have free editors. You do the work, they charge you for getting the new version. Capitalism with a mix of Socialism.

Increase quality and compete... (4, Interesting)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178659)

Ideas Wikipedia could implement:

A moderation system, including a way to submit changes to articles. Basically, there would be a way for readers to "vote" for various metrics on articles, including accuracy, readability, etc. Also, the system would keep track of articles that are accessed more often. The moderation system would work like this: The more often an article is accessed, the more important it is assumed to be, and therefore, changes would need to get higher moderation points before becoming an officially accepted part of the article. Up to that point, there would be a list of pending changes at the bottom of articles, which readers could see. This is akin to the development/stable process used in software development, and it would perhaps increase the quality of articles.

Further, Wikipedia should figure out all kinds of business ventures to bring in money for further quality improvement. A Wikipedia magazine, containing random articles picked by a small staff; a dead-tree Wikipedia set, CDs and DVDs, and other junk that could be sold might bring in money to pay a staff of researchers to go through the entire encyclopedia and increase the detail level and quality of its contents.

Also, a method for adding pictures, videos, and other content to articles should be provided, so people can contribute original art, photographs, music, etc., or like items that are free/public domain. This would add value to the encyclopedia as a whole.

The Encarta Way (1)

violent.ed (656912) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178662)

from article: After you submit an edited article, it goes through several steps. First, a researcher verifies the accuracy of the suggested changes. Then an editor reviews the article for issues such as readability and organization. Finally, the proofreading staff makes sure the article adheres to Encarta style. as i brush the dirt off myself after laughing so hard ... i click on the "Encarta Style Guide" link. its sad when you have to teach propper grammar to someone that wants to post to an ENCYCLOPEDIA of all things hehe. but thats just me.

> disclaimer -> i am no grammar wizard so stfu :P

Explain Linux and FOSS? (1)

NoSuchGuy (308510) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178673)

Can someone explain them that Linux [] and OSS [] are not the same.

And keep track of changes of these articles

Is it just me? (1)

IdJit (78604) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178676)

Does it seem like MS is starting to open up a bit? Or are they just front'n?

Willy on Wheels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178681)

Will they be including an article about Willy on Wheels?

So let me get this straight (2, Insightful)

ptelligence (685287) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178711)

You want me to pay you to allow me to write articles for your encyclopedia that you will in turn update and continue to charge me for? I think the only article that I will revise is the one on Microsoft. Let me see what it says...WTF?!?! I can't even view it without being a premium subscriber. No way I'm gonna pay $4.95 for this crap. Wikipedia will do just fine.

Boatloads of money needed... (4, Interesting)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178721)

What Wikipedia really needs is a formal way to add academic-style citations to articles. Added value could be gained by making these citations into links. Citations to real printed works would be preferred, and these links could go directly to an online bookstore (such as Amazon), which would pay Wikipedia a small fee each time someone buys a book through Wikipedia.

Also, Amazon-style "people who read this article also read..." links should guide people through the Wikipedia.

Google-style text links could be placed on the side of some articles.

The revenue from all of these activities could finance a staff of full-time researchers, photographers, developers, and so on, who could improve the quality and detail level of the reference as a whole. I know people here hate commercials, but they're small, text-only, and will help this free resource to grow into something that can rival the likes of the old-style Encyclopedia Britannica. I can see room for so much here; it will just take boatloads of money to make it work really well.

Encarta still exists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178724)

I didn't even realize there still was an Encarta? I thought it had been discontinued years ago. Goes to show how visible that product is. Does anyone actually care about CD-based encycolpedias anymore? It seem like anyone who would actually need one also has internet access and therefore, better reference material available.

Al Gore Just Announced he invented the Wiki (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178725)

In a stunning announcement, "Al Gore" just released information stating that shortly after inventing the Internet, he and a group of democracy minded democrats invented the Wiki.

Al was quoted as saying "Microsoft Should be ashamed of using my idea for profit".

Closing the barn door... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178764)

Isn't it a little late, since nobody cares about Encarta, despite all the free copies that go out with new PCs geared at families? I mean, there is absolutely no way Encarta will be able to keep up. People keep organizing and cooperating at the grassroots level, and they are taking away business opportunities! I mean the Internet is all about cutting out the middleman and replacing him with a machine programmed to not rip you off --a program that you can read for yourself.

SB: Dammit Bill! Our kids are all going to have to get real jobs if we don't kill this free and open Internet stuff!

BG: Just do whatever Wikipedia is doing, and I'll give it away as charity. You can write it off, and we'll AOL-spam the Wikipedia out of existence...

Except it's too late for that...
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