May 26, 2008 114 reads by Navneet Kaushal

According to the MSN Live Search Blog, the Live Search Books service from Microsoft is shutting down. However, Microsoft will preserve the Live Search Books and Live Search Academics databases and will appear in the regular Live web search results. This database will remain as it is without any further updates, because Microsoft is also letting go of its 'digitization initiatives' that include the library scanning and the in-copyright book programs.

A post at Pandia, gives an interesting insight about this latest Microsoft decision. According to Pandia, it seems that Microsoft is slowly withdrawing from its pursuit of sharing the throne with Google. Microsoft has realized that its efforts in the Live Search Books weren't going to yield any results and thus it has decided to keep the Live Search as a portal for a wide user base, instead of targeted searching. As the Live Search team states in the Live Blog, “Given the evolution of the Web and our strategy, we believe the next generation of search is about the development of an underlying, sustainable business model for the search engine, consumer, and content partner. For example, this past Wednesday we announced our strategy to focus on verticals with high commercial intent, such as travel, and offer users cash back on their purchases from our advertisers.”

However, Microsoft is urging the participating publishers and libraries to carry on what Microsoft had started with Kirtas, the Internet Archive, CCS, and other partners. It wants the participating organizations to create and maintain digital archives available to library users and search engines.

It seems that Microsoft hasn't left its publishers high and dry after all. A move that can only be considered as an attempt to 'redemption', it has collaborated with Ingram Digital Group and is reaching out to the participating publishers keeping their benefits in mind. Microsoft is helping the publishers in discovering new marketing and sales opportunities designed to help them extract as much profit as possible from the ongoing Live Search Books Publisher Program. Furthermore, MSN is also providing the publishers with digital copies of their scanned books. Microsoft has also revoked the contractual restrictions placed on the digitized library content, thus making it available to its digitization partners and libraries that can further continue the digitization programs.

With the recent releases and updates in its products, I was infact expecting more from Microsoft. This move is something that is not a good news to all those who appreciate Microsoft's efforts. We can just hope that it doesn't start pulling the plug on other services as well.

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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