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Hidden away in the official Live Search blog Microsoft announced last week that they are going to shut down Live Book Search as of today. The reasons are simple: there is no money to be made for Microsoft by digitizing content. It is now up to the partners in the project — publishers and libraries — to continue the work.

The post attracts of course the usual Microsoft bashing comments. More importantly, many of the mostly academic users of Microsoft’s service are disappointed and will have to look elsewhere to get acces to the millions of journal articles that MS scanned and hosted.

This is the end to a project that was hailed by some as the good digitizing project, just because MS did choose an opt-in model rather than the opt-out model its competitor Google is using. From MS’s post its not clear what role this part of the project played in closing it down. However, MS is convinced that it should be the publishers and libraries who should make content available. Adding (and paying) an extra intermediary obviously adds no extra value.