Local Live Makes The Call

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[ Technology]

Business listings on Microsoft’s Windows Live Local search now display a “call for free” link, connecting one’s phone with the business.

Greg Sterling at Search Engine Watch highlighted the silent launch of Live Local’s new Call for Free feature. By clicking the link, a window opens and prompts the visitor to enter a phone number.

Once entered, clicking the call button will ring the visitor’s phone. The call then connects to the business the person wants to reach.

It works like the web-activated telephony site Jajah does. Since Jajah offers a plug-in for Outlook, one of Microsoft Office’s most widely-used applications, it would not be surprising if Microsoft is using their technology for the functionality.

In a section about privacy, Microsoft said it contracts with third parties to provide the Call for Free service. The only information those third parties will be provided with is the telephone number entered by the user to facilitate the call.

Users of the Call for Free service can opt to save their number with Local Live, and have it immediately available for future calls. Calls made with the service could still incur fees for the caller if their incoming calls, such as on many cellphone plans, are not free.

Microsoft noted in its help file for the service that currently only US numbers are supported in the Call for Free feature. Also, the service does not support calls to phone numbers with extensions. Only the first ten digits are accepted.

Call for Free gives Microsoft another selling point for local businesses for its new online self-service advertising business, called adCenter. The company can show how it can quickly connect potential customers to an offline business from a web search, and how the business could draw more online attention with ads from AdCenter, and perhaps a domain name and web site from Office Live too.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Local Live Makes The Call
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