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Earlier this week, Microsoft announced it too was going to begin the digitalization of as many published works as possible.

Scheduled to launch before June 2006, MSN Book Search (MSNBS) will be accessible to users as a tab above the general MSN search query window.

While MSNBS is obviously a response to the Google Print and Google Library program, Microsoft is treading softly on copyright concerns held by publishers and authors by joining the Open Content Alliance (OCA). MSNBS has committed to funding the digitalization of approximately 150,000 public domain books through the OCA and agreements with a number of libraries. It also plans to make available information from academic institutions, thousands of periodicals, news and entertainment aggregators and other collections of digitalized documents.

Over at Search Engine Watch, editor Gary Price engages in some interesting speculation noting that Yahoo, which is already a member of the OCA, recently signed an agreement to cooperate with MSN in the development of new versions of their Instant Message tools. With both involved in similar initiatives obviously aimed at Google’s dominance in yet another emerging sector, the opportunities for further collusion are wide open.

Regardless of how Google might react to MSNBS, the entry of the software and search services giant into the print-to-digital fray marks a major challenge for traditional paper bound publishers. Microsoft is also continuing development of its new OS, leading to speculation that one of the tools in the OS itself could be based on the program.

That wouldn’t be the first time anyone associated the new OS with MSNBS.

Jim Hedger is the SEO Manager of StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc. Based in Victoria, BC, Canada, StepForth is the result of the consolidation of BraveArt Website Management, Promotion Experts, and Phoenix Creative Works, and has provided professional search engine placement and management services since 1997. http://www.stepforth.com/ Tel – 250-385-1190 Toll Free – 877-385-5526 Fax – 250-385-1198

MSN BookSearch
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About Jim Hedger
Jim Hedger works with Metamend Search Engine Marketing as a SEO Consultant, lead copywriter and head blog writer. Jim has been involved in the SEO field since the days of the dinosaurs and felt he had lost a personal friend when Disney went "ol' Yeller" on Infoseek. Over the course of his career, Jim has gotten drunk with Jeeves the Butler, tossed sticks to that sock-puppet dog from Pets.com and come out of a staring contest with Googlebot confidently declaring a tie. When not traveling between conferences, Jim lives with a perpetually annoyed cat named Hypertext in the Pacific techno-outport of Victoria British Columbia. WebProNews Writer


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