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Microsoft said Friday it is ending its quest to create an online library of the world's books as the technology titan revamps its strategy to battle Internet search king Google.
Live Search Books and Live Search Academics projects are being cancelled and the websites will be taken down next week, Microsoft senior vice president of search Satya Nadella said in an online posting.
"This also means that we are winding down our digitization initiatives, including our library scanning and our in-copyright book programs," Nadella wrote.
Microsoft Ends Book Scanning Programs [news.yahoo.com]
As a an opponent to MSFT's mission to monopolize everything in the digital world, it's good to see them back out of anything.
But as a neutral observe one wonders if MSFT even has a strategy.
Note I said stakeholder, not just stockholders.
The Open Library organization is the Wiki of books online with approx. 200,000 full books, this is a great thing.
Copyright in all cases needs to be respected of course, but out of copyright works should be available and thats where the vast majority of these books fall into.
As a creator of copyrighted work I can only applaud less copyright infringements.
I don't know about all the initiatives, but I was chatting to a chap from the British Library only last week (at a Microsoft event!) and there they are only doing major works over 50 years old, which isn't exactly cleaner than clean, but relatively close.
It's a pity, but the machines sitting in the British library (four of them I am led to believe) probably won't go anywhere in a hurry...
[edited by: Receptional at 3:45 pm (utc) on May 27, 2008]
But I can live with it if it's documents that are truly and fully in the public domain. Still it doesn't make up for utter lack of strategy of Ballmer and co.