Live Search Defines Place In Dictionary
The online Merriam-Webster dictionary includes alternate links for more information about a term; among those links, visitors can find one going to Microsoft’s Windows Live Search.
This effort places Live Search in a logical place for people to find. It’s reasonable to think someone hitting Merriam-Webster for information is engaged in some research. Enabling a link from a definition to more information at Live makes sense.
Other links on Merriam-Webster point to content at a couple of other authoritative resources. Many definitions also point to partial content appearing on Encyclopedia Brittanica, while health-related ones have links to HealthLine resources.
Microsoft has made efforts over the years to be more of a presence in fields where people in education would encounter their products. Once upon a time, Apple owned the education market, but that has changed thanks to heavy competition and a growing need for students to bring computers to school, particularly in college environments.
The Encarta encyclopedia has been a Microsoft staple for many years. Instead of visiting a bookshelf full of heavy paper copies and paging through them, people can search faster for topic content.
There’s also the need to promote the brand as back-to-school sales become much more prominent for many people. The demand is not as great as during the end of year holiday periods, but a lot of people want to purchase a new machine in August for their offspring.
Microsoft fell behind with its Vista consumer launch. They will have to make up some ground for lost holiday sales that affected their OEM partners as much as themselves.
Having tie-ins to valuable, educational properties like Merriam-Webster could be a selling point beyond the desktop/notebook/tablet PC. Since so many people carry powerful cellphones, and Merriam-Webster offers software for the Windows Mobile OS, maybe this Live Search tie-in hints at a future mobile focus on the mobile-using youth market.