Microsoft Encarta

Encarta began life as the world's first multi-language multimedia encyclopaedia.

By the end of its lifespan Encarta had become a reference suite including an atlas, a dictionary, thesaurus and bilingual dictionaries, as well as numerous study tools. Websters managed the editorial team in the UK for the first incarnation of Encarta in 1994 on ground-breaking CD-ROM technology. By the end of its life in 2010 Websters had managed the editorial teams in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the United States - producing the DVD and online versions of the products.

This began with an initial gigantic localisation effort, turning a US-based encyclopaedia into a truly global resource by adding local media and new content. The highlights of the project must include the entirely new children's multimedia encyclopaedia, creating content that attracted over half a million unique users to the UK site each month, the Answers projects that eventually morphed into Instant Answers on MSN Search (now Bing), before search engines had ever thought of providing such results, and support in creating a totally unique Maths project.

Eventually, commercial realities meant Microsoft had to pull the plug on a pioneering multimedia concept that had to give up the unequal battle with Wikipedia.

For more information about Websters' involvment with Encarta, take a look at this blog article.