Microsoft said on Friday that it has signed a deal to scan 100,000 books from the British Library and put them on to the Internet. Users of the service will be able to search through around 25 million pages of material next year without having to visit the library in London or pay any fee. Microsoft is investing $2.5 million to get the project off of the ground.

Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft said, "Our partnership with the British Library is not only about digitisation and preservation, but also about delivering a great experience for people accessing this amazing collection through British Library and MSN websites."