Microsoft on April 11 unveiled a new Internet search engine to locate scholarly material, as it steps up its features war with rivals Google and Yahoo.
Windows Live Academic Search, as the feature is known, "has some unique features, and is a worthy competitor," said Dean Giustini, a reference librarian at the University of British Columbia Library, in a blog posting about his experiences with the new feature.
The English-language site is now live in seven English-speaking countries and the search engine gets its content from 10 publishers, Microsoft said.
Academic Search is part of the usual tit-for-tat features warfare between Microsoft, Yahoo, Google and other Internet search engines.
With the exception of Microsoft, these entities derive virtually all of their revenues by placing ads next to search results. So there is constant tinkering with new features to draw in a larger audience for advertisers.
Microsoft is the exception because it operates not only a search engine, found at Live.com or MSN.com, but also a rather successful software-selling business.
What Microsoft introduced April 11, is a competitor to Google Scholar, which provides access to peer-reviewed papers, abstracts and articles from academic publishers and other scholarly organisations.
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