Microsoft to expand search offerings with Windows Live Book Search

WLSearch new icon.gifIt really seems as if there is no stopping Microsoft's attempts to increase their share of the search market through the Windows Live platform. The latest service on the cards is Windows Live Book Search, previously announced as MSN Book Search at the end of last year. Windows Live Book Search is an online search service for book content, providing readers with tools for discovering and evaluating books for purchase. As with all the search products that are being released under the Windows Live brand, we're expecting it to be available as another tab on the traditional Windows Live Search toolbar, along with the recently launched Windows Live Academic Search and Product Search.

At the same time, Book Search provides publishers with a new way to connect with potential customers. For the smaller publishers, there are plans to provide a self-service publisher portal (unsurprisingly called Windows Live Publishing Portal,) allowing them to add their books to the index over the internet before shipping them to one of the globally distributed scanning vendors. So how does this differ to Google Book Search? They key part here seems to be the content Microsoft is looking to index. As their original press announcement states, they are looking to index public domain and non copyrighted print material first, shown by their intent to join the Open Content Alliance (OCA). Of course including copyrighted content will be important too, but the recent issues Google has had with publishers should see Microsoft trying to avoid the same pitfalls. We're expecting this service to be launched as a beta in the near future, with all the indicators pointing to the potential indexing of other print material such as magazines and newspapers in the future.