Encarta is a digital multimedia encyclopedia published by Microsoft Corporation from 1993 to 2009 (in Spanish since the '97 version). In 2008, the complete edition of Encarta Premium English containing over 62,000 items while its Spanish version, including about 43,000.  In addition to the encyclopedia entries, the information was complemented by numerous photos and illustrations, audio clips and videos, interactive activities, timelines, maps, atlases and geographic tools to solve student assignments. The encyclopedia was available on DVD-ROM or multiple CD-ROMs and also had limited availability (with ads) to their online content on the World Wide Web, allowing an annual subscription to access more.
Microsoft edited and published editions of Encarta in different languages, including English, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese and Japanese. Localized versions contain material licensed from local or national, which was that there were differences between them. For example, the Dutch edition of the free content owned regional Winkler Prins in the Netherlands, is denominated Encarta Winkler Prins Encyclopedie.
In March 2009, Microsoft announced the discontinuation of all existing stocks Encarta (CD and online version). Web sites for all localized versions of MSN Encarta were closed (except Japan) on October 31, 2009. The Japanese site closed down definitively on 31 December 2009.   The Encarta Online Dictionary (dictionary.msn.com) continues to be operated by Microsoft, but only in their English and French.