Friday, May 23, 2008

Windows Live Search Books going away

Peter Brantley forwarded a Microsoft message from the Live Search blog to the DLF community. Excerpt:

"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."
I never really used Live Search Books, but I have colleagues who said very good things about it, some of whom thought it was better than Google Books in terms of search success and consistency and delivery UI. I hope that the output of the digitization by the partners can be re-purposed into other services. Their message encourages partners to continue working with the Internet Archive, so I feel hopeful that the equipment and processes put into place for this project will also continue to produce output even without Microsoft's involvement.

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