May 29 – June 5, 2008 Edition

Ends Live
Book Search

5/26/2008–Microsoft announced last Friday on its website that it is shutting down both its Live Search Books and Live Search Academic websites. Under the Books program, Microsoft had digitized 750,000 books and indexed 80 million journal articles.

In its announcement to publisher program partners, the company said: “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. With our investments, the technology to create these repositories is now available at lower costs for those with the commercial interest or public mandate to digitize book content. We will continue to track the evolution of the industry and evaluate future opportunities.”

The company, in partnership with Ingram Digital Group, will offer new marketing and sales opportunities designed to help publishers derived ongoing benefits from participation in the Live Search books Publisher Program. Microsoft and Ingram will make previously scanned files of book submissions available to publishers free.

In a Microsoft blog post, Satya Nadella, senior vice president search, portal and advertising, said “We are reaching out to participating 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. In partnership with Ingram Digital Group, we are also reaching out to participating publishers with information about new marketing and sales opportunities designed to help them derive ongoing benefits from their participation in the Live Search Books Publisher Program.

“We have learned a tremendous amount from our experience and believe this decision, while a hard one, can serve as a catalyst for more sustainable strategies. To that end, we intend to provide publishers with digital copies of their scanned books. We are also removing our contractual restrictions placed on the digitized library content and making the scanning equipment available to our digitization partners and libraries to continue digitization programs. We hope that our investments will help increase the discoverability of all the valuable content that resides in the world of books and scholarly publications,” said Nadella.

Read more about the announcement on the Live Search blog.