Is this sad news? Although I like brandishing my ‘compact’ edition of the complete OED 2nd edition (as seen before summer by my Y12s playing ‘Balderdash’), I won’t particularly mourn its passing.
Electronic reference overtook paper based sources for me many years ago, for most purposes..
The internet is a quicker, more efficient and easier accessible source than a book, especially when it’s being used for teaching purposes. In my opinion, printing the 3rd edition of the OED would be a waste of money, and the only people who would buy it would be those who do it for nostalgic reasons, or those annoying business couples who have modern houses with shelves of books that they don’t read and have on display to look intelligent. If I had a choice between having the technology we have now and going back to how simple it was before computers etc. I would genuinely choose the latter. But people have to get over the fact that this technology is going no where, and is basically superior to flicking through a book with thousands of pages in it. Sad, though.