Google has obviously demoted Google Scholar over the last year or so, as well as loosening the content-inclusion parameters. Max Kemman now asks: will Google close down Google Scholar? The article notes that…

“cited by” and “related articles” functionalities in Google Scholar […] are already available in [the main Google] Search

If he’s correct, there may be another reason for it. Have people in Google taken a good look at the slow-but-sure progress of Microsoft Academic Search, and found they don’t like what they see? Is Google wary of waking up one day to find that the Microsoft tortoise has once again executed its traditional killer slow-mo back-flip karate on a competitor hare?