Blown To Bits

One Less Explosion

Sunday, May 25th, 2008 by Harry Lewis

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Google doesn’t say it wants to be the only source of the world’s information, but it has now moved a step closer to monopoly in the book search area.¬†

Microsoft dropped its book digitization project, stating “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.¬†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.”

Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive is “disappointed” and plans to keep up his book-digitizing efforts. But along with Microsoft’s thus far unsuccessful struggles to absorb Yahoo!, the death of Microsoft’s book-digitizing project is another sign that the company that defined the software industry is having a hard time shifting to the new economy defined by bits themselves rather than the computer programs that manipulate bits.¬†

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