US software colossus Microsoft announced plans to launch an online library of books and other written works.
A "beta" version of MSN Book Search will go into service online next year, Microsoft said in a written release.
"We are excited to be working with libraries worldwide to digitize and index information from the worlds printed materials," said Christopher Payne, corporate vice president of MSN Search.
"We believe people will benefit from the ability to not just view a page, but to easily act on that data in contextually relevant ways, both online in the search experience and in the applications they are using."
Microsoft will start its library with books in the public domain then expand it to include other works, according to the company.
Microsoft's digital text compilation will consist primarily of material that is not copyrighted and it will strive to work out deals with the owners of written works before including them in the online library, the company said.