Live Search Books was announced in October 2005 as MSN Book Search with considerable hoopla, plans to digitize the British Library, and verbal fisticuffs with Google over copyright and Google Book Search, but it has all come to nought as Microsoft’s Satya Nadella announced today:
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.
With Live Search Books and Live Search Academic, we digitized 750,000 books and indexed 80 million journal articles. 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.
The rest of Nadella’s comments can be summarized as "Microsoft couldn’t figure out how to make any money on this stuff." I remarked when MSN Book Search was announced that the business model was rather vague and apparently altruism was not a sufficient rationale.
Microsoft released a beta of Windows Live Search Books (formerly MSN Book Search) which indexes out-of-copyright books and a new beta of Windows Live Search Academic (formerly Windows Live Academic Search) which indexes academic journals.
Check out Amazon’s newest service, Askville.
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Another strange Zune ad. Don’t worry, you likely won’t have to restrain yourself from filling your shopping cart with Zunes, but you may want a cookie.
As expected, Microsoft launched Windows Live Academic Search last night. Yes, it’s labeled as a beta, but what self respecting Web 2.0 offering isn’t these days? Todd Bishop has more at the Seattle P-I:
Microsoft Corp. is courting researchers and other academics with a specialized Web search service, its latest effort to catch up to market leader Google.
Windows Live Academic Search was launched in preliminary form Tuesday night. It lets researchers search the contents of academic journals to find abstracts and, if they subscribe to the journals, get the documents from the publishers’ sites.
The service, which for now focuses on computer science, electrical engineering and physics, includes tools for researchers, such as the ability to quickly extract information for citations. But it’s also open to the public, and some library systems give patrons access to the journals included in the index.
It’s another example of Microsoft following Google into a segment of the search market. The search leader already has a similar service called Google Scholar.
Windows Live Academic Search service won’t include paid advertisements, and Microsoft isn’t planning to make money directly from the service, said Microsoft’s Danielle Tiedt, general manager for Windows Live Premium Search.
The press release is here.
LiveSide has been reporting that two new variants of Windows Live Search are on the way and Microsoft’s public relations firm Waggener Edstrom has confirmed it.
Windows Live Product Search is apparently a rival to Google’s Froogle offering in providing shopping searches on product and price. Of course, this also competes with the multitude of shopping engines from Yahoo, Amazon, eBay, other specialized providers and not to be forgotten, MSN Shopping and Windows Live Shopping. Presumably there will be some sort of link up with the latter.