In Search of a Publisher-Friendly Book Search
The most-used computer operating system in the world is revving up to take on the world’s most-used search engine for the right to claim title to the world’s most-used online book search.
Microsoft’s game plan is to overtake Google in the book search field—by involving publishers instead of alienating them.
The forthcoming release of Microsoft’s Windows Live Book Search—a search program that is scheduled for release later this year—comes on the heels of the controversy surrounding the introduction of Google Book Search, Google’s foray into book search.
Google has taken a pounding since it presented its search in October 2004. Several law suits, both in the United States and abroad, have been filed against the Mountain View, Calif.-based company for copyright infringement. At issue is Google’s mission to make two or three pages of millions of copyright-protected text and the full text of books in the public domain available for viewing by its users. While Google already pulls excerpts from copyright-protected Web sites to preview their content in Web searches, book publishers have criticized and condemned the book project for obliging publishers to request their content not to be used.
With its direct competitors in the search engine field already fully involved in digitizing full text of books and storing them in their digital databases for search, Microsoft jumped into the game late last year. With the much-publicized missteps Google has made with its Google Book Search service since launching it, Microsoft may have learned a valuable lesson that could endear the project with publishers more than its rivals have.
The concept of Windows Live Book Search was first introduced in October and then discussed in May at Book Expo America (BEA) 2006. Since then, the Redmond, Wash.-based company has worked to gain input—including that of the book-publisher community.