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Microsoft scanning British Library archives

Tanya Goodin
Tanya Goodin
12 February 2008

25 million pages from the British library set to be indexed

The war for market share in search is being fought on many fronts, not least the race to see who can index the libraries of the world. While Google has been cannily working its way through over 30 world libraries including 1 million books Microsft is in the middle of a two year plan to scan the British Library’s 19th-century archive of over 100,000 books and 25 million pages.

The main thrust behind Microsoft indexing is that they want to be better able to answer peoples search questions. As Cliff Guren, Microsoft director of publisher evangelism (cool title!) says, ‘When we are able to do a better job of answering people’s questions we are going to build loyalty and then ultimately increase the size of our user community’.

So if they manage to get Yahoo! on board and index more content from similar sources as the British Library this may be a possibility. But as is often the case with many projects they are chasing Google not leading.

I spotted this story in the Cape Times this morning as I am briefly in our Cape Town office and if that sounds great the weather has actually been poor so far and I am being blamed for bring the rain this far south!



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