Saturday, June 02, 2007

Microsoft Live Books Improves

Microsoft Live Books now includes many recent copyrighted titles, added as part of a deal with dozens of publishers. You can now search the full text of these books and view a certain number of pages, about 20% of the total. I don't see a feature for printing pages.

The new interface tells you how many pages you can still view under the copyright terms. There is a slide rule on the far right for quickly moving to any section of the book. Here is a screenshot of the interface:

Links are provided if you want to buy the book from the publisher, Amazon, or B&N. For older books in the public domain, you can download the entire file.

This takes us another step forward in the ability to search as many full-text books as possible without needing to check dozens of URLs, which is still necessary for a comprehensive search. Anyone interested in ebooks as either a consumer or librarian should applaud this move.

Microsoft Live Books hasn't received nearly as much publicity as Google Book Search, but it is a great resource as well. Last I heard Live Books had close to a million titles but probably they've gone over a million with this deal.

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