MSN Book Search and the British Library

Last week, we announced MSN Book Search and our joining the OCA. Yesterday, we announced a partnership with the British Library to digitize and make available via MSN Book Search, 25 million pages (roughly 100,000 books) from the British Library’s collection over the next year.

This partnership with the British Library represents another step in MSN Search’s goal to provide the most relevant answers to users’ queries. Through our British Library partnership, we will be able to bring trusted content to users, irrespective of the format of the content. We will predominantly focus on digitizing out of copyright material in this partnership.

We believe that Microsoft’s key value add is in software and in our community of users. We look forward to enabling interesting user experiences with trusted content from the British Library. We aspire to give the users the ability not just to view pages out of a book, but really act on the information in contextually relevant ways, both in the search experience as well as in the applications they are using.

There are a lot of challenges as we embark upon this journey – digitization, indexing, ranking, enabling the best user experience while searching, enabling users to act on the information they find etc., and we look forward to tackling these challenges. We are fortunate to be in a company that has invested for many years in advanced reading technologies, and is investing in making great viewing experiences possible. This is going to be a fun ride!

On a personal note, this is one of those “You are kidding. They pay you to do that?” jobs – What is more fun that helping bring the world’s knowledge to everyone? Now, I am off to work with the British Librabry to figure out which material to digitize first. As our CEO normally says – I…..LOVE…..THIS…..COMPANY!!!

Thirumalai Anandanpillai
Product Planning, MSN Search
On behalf of the MSN Search Content Acquisition Team