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ERIC Number: EJ803152
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun-6
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Microsoft's Book-Search Project Has a Surprise Ending
Foster, Andrea L.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n39 pA14 Jun 2008
It is hard to imagine a Microsoft venture falling under the weight of a competitor. That's the post-mortem offered by many academic librarians as they ponder the software giant's recent and sudden announcement that it is shutting down its book-digitization project. The librarians' conclusion: Google did it. Microsoft quietly revealed in May that it would end the program and the accompanying search software, Live Search Books and Live Search Academic. The project made complete book texts available and searchable online at no charge. The announcement was posted on a company blog the Friday before Memorial Day as many people left work early for the holiday weekend. The blog post said that Microsoft wanted to focus its digitization and search efforts on markets with a "high commercial intent," such as travel. It made no mention of Google, but librarians say the search company undoubtedly affected Microsoft's decision. Microsoft entered the scholarly digitization arena in October 2005, 10 months after Google did, and has been playing catch-up ever since. Microsoft was not as ambitious as Google in the volume of material it sought to digitize and was not willing to devote as much money to the endeavor, librarians say. (Microsoft has spent roughly $10-million; Google has never revealed its costs, but based on the scale of the project, experts estimate they are significantly more.)
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A