It's the end of an era! Microsoft have made the inevitable decision to stop making and selling Encarta!
Those of us old enough to remember the oddity of owning a computer without access to the internet will remember how important and useful Encarta actually was.
Sadly, Wikipedia and Google together provide a free and relatively easy method of finding anything you want. Encarta was well put together and in many ways far superior to Wikipedia, you were far more assured of it's accuracy. Wikipedia is of course a growing and developing site, with many of the articles written by experts in the particular field, but it's also open to abuse... beware you students who submit Wikipedia articles as coursework...
If you have access to an Encarta CD, look after it - it's an important part of IT history!
Microsoft Announces End of the Road for Encarta - ReadWriteWeb