This rest-in-peace notice is a bit premature because the Oxford University Press hasn’t officially announced the demise of the printed OED, but it does heavily prognosticate by the time the third edition is ready for print it’s likely to be an online-only affair. I still sort of regret passing up buying a reduced price second edition of the OED back a few years ago.
From the link:
By the time the lexicographers behind the century-old Oxford English Dictionary finish revising and updating its third edition — a gargantuan task that will take a decade or more — publishers doubt there will be a market for the printed form.
“At present we are experiencing increasing demand for the online product,” a statement from the publisher said. “However, a print version will certainly be considered if there is sufficient demand at the time of publication.”
Nigel Portwood, chief executive of Oxford University Press, told The Sunday Times in an interview he didn’t think the newest edition will be printed. “The print dictionary market is just disappearing. It is falling away by tens of percent a year,” he said.