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May 27, 2008

Microsoft Dumps Book Scanning Project

Microsoft last Friday announced that it is closing the book scanning project it started in 2005.  That leaves Google and Amazon with scanning projects.  Microsoft has decided to crawl content rather than to host it.  The company also closed its Live Search Academic project as well.  Who knew it even existed?  Search results from these targeted sites will now be buried appear in general searches.  I often wonder if Microsoft targets Google features as a way of competing with the search leader for no other reason than the fact that Google has that feature.  It's as if Microsoft wants to be Google by duplicating it.  If so, getting out of the book scanning business can be a positive thing. Microsofties can actually concentrate on search and marketing and not spend most of their time and money trying to be MS Google. 

Even the decision to look at a strategic alliance with Yahoo! or the possibility of buying its search business makes more sense than buying a company in which it would eliminate a significant number of redundant jobs merely to acquire that search business.  Microsoft may yet have some imagination yet when it comes to competing in a market that it does not dominate.

More on the book scanning project developments from Library Journal, The Register,and SearchNewz.

May 27, 2008 | Permalink

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