an important announcement from Microsoft
"Book search winding down
"Today we informed our partners that we are ending the Live Search Books and
Live Search Academic projects and that both sites will be taken down next
week. Books and scholarly publications will continue to be integrated into
our Search results, but not through separate indexes.
"This also means that we are winding down our digitization initiatives,
including our library scanning and our in-copyright book programs. We
recognize that this decision comes as disappointing news to our partners,
the publishing and academic communities, and Live Search users.
"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.
"As we wind down Live Search Books, 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. "
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.