Microsoft Signs New Book Search Deals

A university and a maker of scanners and digitization software said Tuesday that they had signed deals with Microsoft to support its Windows Live Book Search Project. The offering is the Redmond company's answer to Google Book Search, announced in late 2004.

Microsoft has brought on board Kirtas Technologies, whose robotic scanners can scan at a rate of 2,400 pages per hour. Books scanned by the company would be available in mid-2007.

"We believe that searching and finding relevant book content will become an important and integral component to the search experience of Web users worldwide," said Danielle Tiedt, General Manager of the Live Search Selection Team at Microsoft. "That's why Microsoft has made the decision to enable this experience as a key part of our strategy to compete in this arena."

Cornell University would be the latest addition to the Windows Live Book Search catalog. Librarians at the school would decide which books to scan, and oversee the scanning process to ensure quality, Microsoft said.

Windows Live Book Search differs from Google's offering in the way that it scans books. Whereas Microsoft has an opt-in process, Google is doing the opposite: publishers are required to opt-out if they don't want to participate. This method has angered publishers, and triggered several lawsuits.

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