Google Print has made available the collection of out-of-print books and other materials from the New York Public Library, Harvard University, University of Michigan and Stanford University. This helps the researchers or students access those old books online that were only available in the library. Great initiative to preserve and share knowledge.
At the same time, Amazon announced a plan of a new service called Amazon Pages, which will allow people to buy chapters from a book and read them online. Customers will get complete online access to the book through another service called Amazon Upgrade. Both services are an extension of Amazon’s existing Search Within a Book feature. This will help people who are only interested in specific information. Amazon says they are working hard to make world’s books instantly accessible anytime and anywhere.
Google Print and Amazon Pages/Upgrade are complimentary – Google preserve old and out-of-print books whereas Amazon looking into latest books.
Update 4-Nov: Microsoft plans to digitize 100,000 books of British Library! The scanned books will be posted on the British Library’s own Web site. I like this kind of healthy competition!