Microsoft closes the book on online library

SAN FRANCISCO, May 23, 2008 (AFP) – 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.

“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.”

Microsoft launched its online library projects after Google embarked on an ambitious and controversial campaign to make all written works available free online in digital format.

“Microsoft has been chasing Google pretty aggressively and that is just foolish on their behalf,” Silicon Valley analyst Rob Enderle told AFP.

“I think Microsoft is understanding that chasing Google is just stupid and discontinuing efforts that don’t make sense for t