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Microsoft's Live Search scraps book digitization project

According to company blog, book search efforts are being disbanded and existing book search results will show up in regular searches rather than a separate section.

Microsoft's Live Search Team is ending its book search efforts, according to a blog post Friday. Its Live Search Books and Live Search Academic sites will be discontinued next week, and books and academic publishings will show up in regular search results rather than separate sites.

"We recognize that this decision comes as disappointing news to our partners, the publishing and academic communities, and Live Search users," read the blog post by Satya Nadella, senior vice president of search, portal, and advertising.

Prior to its swift end, Microsoft's book digitization project had indexed the contents of 750,000 books and 80 million scholarly journal articles. Microsoft has said that it will provide publishers with digital copies of books that were already scanned. "Based on our experience, we foresee that the best way for a search engine to make book content available will be by crawling content repositories created by book publishers and libraries," Nadella wrote.

"With our investments, the technology to create these repositories is now available at lower costs for those with the commercial interest or public mandate to digitize book content. We will continue to track the evolution of the industry and evaluate future opportunities."

Book digitization, which Google has championed through its Google Books project, has been a tough hurdle for the tech industry. Traditional publishers haven't been supportive, for the most part.