May 27, 2008
Microsoft Shuts Down Live Search Book, Live Search Academic, and Its Digitization Projects
In a blog post dated May 23, Satya Nadella, Microsoft's Senior Vice President, Search, Portal and Advertising announced that the Company's Live Search Books and Live Search Academic sites would be taken down this week and that both projects were being terminated. Books and scholarly publications will continue to be integrated into the Company's SE results, but not through separate indexes.
This also means that Microsoft is winding down its digitization programs including its library scanning and in-copyright book programs. The Company had digitized about 750,000 books and indexed 80 million journal articles. Microsoft had agreements with libraries including the University of California, the University of Toronto and the British Library to scan their books and deals to include in-copyright works from the following publishers: Academic Resources Corporation, Amherst Media, Bearport Publishing, Cambridge University Press, Edward Elgar Publishing, Harrison House Publishers, Harvard University Press, Hazelden Publishing & Educational Services, Institute for International Economics, John Wiley & Sons Publishing, Lerner Publishing Group, MBI Publishing Company, McGraw-Hill Companies, Microsoft Corporation, MIT Press, OECD, Osprey Publishing, Oxford University Press, Pearson Education, PREP Publishing, Rodale, Rutgers University Press, Simon & Schuster, Springer, SUNY Press, Taylor & Francis Group, The Perseus Books Group, The World Bank, University of Massachusetts Press, Wheatmark, Wilderness Press, World Health Organization, World Scientific Publishing Company, World Wisdom, Yale University Press.
In the blog post Nadella writes:
Based on our experience, we foresee that the best way for a search engine to make book content available will be by crawling content repositories created by book publishers and libraries. ... We are encouraging libraries to build on the platform we developed with Kirtas, the Internet Archive, CCS, and others to create digital archives available to library users and search engines.
See Peter Brantley's blog post for his thoughts on the impact of Microsoft's decision on publishers and library digitization projects. [JH]
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