CNET reports that Microsoft is releasing a beta of Live Search Books, a competitor of Google Book Search on Wednesday, Dec. 6. The search engine performs keyword searches of books that have been scanned as part of the company’s book search project, much in the same way Windows Live Search searches the internet. Once the new tool is out of beta–estimated to be in about 6 months–Microsoft plans to incorporate the scanner books into its general search engine. Currently, the service will be available on its own home page in addition to being a category on Microsoft’s Live Search page. Microsoft has restricted the release to only include books scanned from noncopyright books from the Collections of the British Library, the University of California, and the University of Toronto. The service is similar to Google’s Book search, in that it enables the full texts of public domain works to be viewed, searched, and printed. Microsoft has restricted its project to noncopyright books, giving publishers the option to “opt-in” if they want copyright books to be scanned in for the project…