Microsoft is ending its Live Book Search, which had digitized 750,000 books, and Live Academic Search, which had indexed 80 million journals, because the company wants to concentrate on other aspects of search, specifically travel and the Live Search Cashback program.
Their chief rival in this space is, of course, Google (GOOG), which has Google Book Search and Google Scholar. Last year, Google said it had digitized 1 million books, which means it’s probably way ahead of Microsoft by now.
Since Google’s book search is bigger and more well known, shuttering Live Book Search is a smart idea. Digitizing books is time consuming, and if Microsoft really wants to beat Google in search, it’s going to have to cut some losses and concentrate on a few key areas — or maybe a winning gimmick — which is what it seems to be doing.
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