Microsoft has entered the academic search field, launching this month a beta version of a tool called Windows Live Academic Search, which will index peer-reviewed subscription content from different publishers. Experts generally welcomed the new product, which rivals Google Scholar, but suggested it could pose problems for librarians and commercial vendors."The new tool "is a bona fide competitor to Google scholar," Dean Giustini, a Biomedical Branch Librarian at the University of British Columbia who blogs about Google Scholar, told The Scientist in an Email.Free to use, the Microsoft product is targeted to scientists and academic researchers wanting to find scholarly literature across broad areas of research. It's currently available only in English, and only in certain countries, including the US, UK, and Germany. Thirumalai Anandanpillai, of MSN's Search Product Planning group, said that additional markets will be added this year, and content will be added throughout the...

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