Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, June 10, 2006

More on Microsoft book search's new partners

Nancy Gohring, Microsoft takes on Google in book search, InfoWorld, June 9, 2006. Excerpt:
Microsoft is expanding its book search service, an offering that will compete with a similar service from Google, it announced Friday. Microsoft will add digitized versions of some books from the University of California Library and the University of Toronto Library to Windows Live Book Search. The program, derived from the MSN Book Search project that was launched late last year, allows users to access and search through the books online. The Open Content Alliance (OCA) will scan, digitize and index out-of-copyright books from the libraries for Microsoft. OCA, an organization supported by technology companies and libraries.

It will also work with copyright holders to gain permission to scan and include protected books. With the announcement of the MSN Book Search initiative last year, Microsoft said it would join the OCA and work with the organization to scan and digitize books....Microsoft says it will work with OCA to obtain the permission of copyright owners to legally scan and include their books.

Comment. The article title points to a real corporate rivalry but at the same time may overstate it. Let's remember one thing: book-based search engines may be competitors but book-scanning programs are complementary, at least for users. Even if the companies can't say, the more, the merrier, we can.