Friday, June 09, 2006

Windows Live Books Matches Google Book Search

Microsoft announced that they will partner with the University of California and the University of Toronto libraries to digitize their books and make them available through Windows Live Books. The total number of books those libraries hold is about 50 million.

This figure matches the holdings of the five major libraries partnered with Google's Book Search: University of Michigan, Stanford, Oxford, New York Public Library, and Harvard.

Will this competition open the floodgates with the other major academic libraries joining one of these digital initiatives? Will they align with Google or Microsoft?

Other major libraries apparently still on the sidelines include University of Illinois, Columbia, Cornell, University of Texas, University of Wisconsin, Indiana, University of Washington, Princeton, and many others.

What are their plans? And with Google facing legal problems from publishers, will academic libraries shy away from them and favor Microsoft? More announcements from Redmond like this one would suggests that is the case.

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