Satya Nadella announced today that we are ending the Live Search Books and Live Search Academic projects — together accounting for 750,000 digitized books and 80 million indexed journal articles — and the sites will be taken down next week.
“This also means that we are winding down our digitization initiatives, including our library scanning and our in-copyright book programs. We recognize that this decision comes as disappointing news to our partners, the publishing and academic communities, and Live Search users.
“Given the evolution of the Web and our strategy, we believe the next generation of search is about the development of an underlying, sustainable business model for the search engine, consumer, and content partner.”
This follows the announcements this week to focus on high commercial offerings and the new Live Search Cashback where you can get money back on purchases. (See Todd Bishop’s article in the Seattle PI for his perspective.)
I think that the decision makes sense, and allows the Live Search team to focus on core competencies, but may require some direction and guidance to the publishers looking to digitize and index content so that users can access content via Live Search. IMHO, it’ll likely take some funding, too, as I don’t see this being a core service of many libraries: will libraries see the benefit in making the investment and taking on the work?