Microsoft Leaves Town

A couple of years ago, google book search got all the attention (and drew the flak and the lawsuits). At that time, Microsoft had also embarked on a book search program, working with a number of partner libraries on a product that went head to head with google. Both companies were busy scanning the world’s printed book collections – but Microsoft was less provocative than google, working only with permission (as opposed to google’s opt-out approach). From an infoworld article:

[Microsoft] will shut down the Live Search Books and Live Search Academic Web sites and stop scanning library and copyright books, Satya Nadella, senior vice president of search, portal and advertising for Microsoft…

The company will give its scanning equipment to its library and digitization partners and encourage them to continue to scan books.

It appears that the scanned archives (numbering over 750,000 books) will be available for public searching and indexing – which hopefully means that rather than have two competing silos of ebooks, everything will be available to everyone. Over to you google…

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