MSN Search Announces MSN Book Search

MSN is working with the Open Content Alliance to bring millions of publicly

available print materials worldwide to the Web.

Oct 26, 2005, 01:00 ET from Microsoft Corp.

    SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- MSN Search today
 announced its intention to launch MSN(R) Book Search, which will support MSN
 Search's efforts to help people find exactly what they're looking for on the
 Web, including the content from books, academic materials, periodicals and
 other print resources. MSN Search intends to launch an initial beta of this
 offering next year. MSN also intends to join the Open Content Alliance (OCA)
 ( ) and work with the organization to scan
 and digitize publicly available print materials, as well as work with
 copyright owners to legally scan protected materials.
     (Logo: )
     "With MSN Book Search, we are excited to be working with libraries
 worldwide to digitize and index information from the world's printed
 materials, taking another step in our efforts to better answer people's
 questions with trusted content from the best sources," said Christopher Payne,
 corporate vice president of MSN Search at Microsoft Corp. "We believe people
 will benefit from the ability to not just view a page, but to easily act on
 that data in contextually relevant ways, both online in the search experience
 and in the applications they are using."
     MSN will first make available books that are in the public domain and is
 working with the Internet Archive ( ) to digitize the
 material. MSN will then work to extend its offering to other types of offline
 content. The digitized content will primarily be print material that has not
 been copyrighted, and Microsoft will clearly respect all copyrights and work
 with each partner providing the information to work out mutually agreeable
 protections for copyrights.
     MSN Book Search will help address the fact that over 50 percent of
 people's online queries go unanswered today on search engines, according to
 internal Microsoft(R) research. This effort will enrich people's search
 experiences, allowing them to access and interact with previously unavailable
 digitized data in contextually relevant ways, such as facilitating book club
 interactions or informal family reading, indexing images, or using graphics,
 keywords and other features to allow for better and faster retrieval of
     The volume of information to be made available is tremendous. From offline
 sources, including radio, television and books, almost 800 megabytes of
 information is produced per person, per year in the U.S., according to "How
 Much Information," a University of California, Berkeley study.
     The OCA represents the collaborative efforts of a group of cultural,
 technological, nonprofit and governmental organizations from around the world
 that are helping to build a permanent archive of multilingual digitized text
 and multimedia content.
     "The goal of the OCA archive is to digitize and make available globally
 sourced digital collections, including multimedia content, representing the
 creative output of humankind," said Brewster Kahle, digital librarian and
 founder of the Internet Archive. "We are proud that MSN is working with the
 OCA in the shared vision of creating a better, more relevant search experience
 for people around the world."
     Microsoft will be collaborating with organizations, educational
 institutions and libraries throughout the world to build a rich index of
 information, which it believes will foster the delivery of trusted content
 from the best sources, not just Web pages. While MSN Book Search will begin
 with books, Microsoft expects the initiative to branch out to include all
 types of offline content.
     "We are committed to working with various institutions to combine our
 technology and software innovation to deliver rich, treasured content that is
 not broadly available today," Payne said. "By combining our deep software
 investments in advanced reading technologies, productivity- and community-
 based applications, such as MSN Messenger, and new capabilities in the
 Windows(R) platform will combine to make a powerful book search experience
 that will help people access new information and interact with it in entirely
 new ways."
     About MSN
     MSN attracts more than 420 million unique users worldwide per month. With
 localized versions available globally in 41 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a
 world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and online advertising
 opportunities to businesses worldwide. The most useful and innovative online
 service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make
 the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at . MSN worldwide sites are located at .
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq:   MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
 software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their
 full potential.
     NOTE:  Microsoft, MSN and Windows are either registered trademarks or
 trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
     The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
 trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.