Wednesday, April 01, 2009


This is a short but notable news piece. Microsoft had once put much marketing effort and ad dollars behind Encarta in order to establish it as the leading online encyclopedia. Now it is going away, destroyed by Wikipedia and other free online information services. The announcement is a recognition that the market has changed irrevocably. From a PR point of view, there wasn't much Microsoft could do to sustain the business. It is the same conundrum facing Encyclopedia Britannica, which continues to push forward in the face of enormous headwinds.

Products have lifespans, especially online. There may be a time not too distant when low-cost or free online software breaks through and takes over the office software market -- word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and database programs -- that Microsoft now dominates. It is hard to fight against free. From a PR and marketer's point of view, one needs strong and persuasive reasoning to survive.


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?