Although Microsoft may have drop the towel in scanning books and making them available, Google might be facing a renewed competition from Europe. EU would be launching Europeana digital library, an online digest of Europe’s cultural heritage on Thursday. The library would not just contain books but would also have films, photographs, paintings, sound films, maps, manuscripts, newspapers, documents – in short every form of media that together makes for Europe’s history. The prototype launch on thursday would just have 2 million objects, but by 2010 the library is expected to make available more than 10 million works – a tiny drop in the ocean compared to the 2.5 billion books in Europe’s common libraries.
To Europeana’s benefit, since it is an EU project it wont have to face the sort of lawsuits that are hogging down Google’s Book Search Project.