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Microsoft Breaks Out New Live Search Tools

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Maps, local, and mobile services all figured in Microsoft’s latest updates to their Live Search product, following their work on the entertainment, health, and shopping search verticals.

Microsoft has a 411 phone number just like Google now. People can dial 1-800-LIVE-411 for local business information. That service draws upon Microsoft’s Tellme acquisition, which drives the local business search and other features of Live Search 411.

The company also revamped its driving directions to use real time traffic information, and dynamically reroute directions based on those details. People with Internet-capable mobile devices can get links to traffic maps from the Live Search 411 service.

Local search users on the desktop will see several updates to Live, derived from continued updates to Microsoft’s Visual Earth platform. The company said they have expanded bird’s eye and 3-D coverage to 80 percent of the US population.

Almost 200 cities may be viewed in 3-D, and these images can be combined with the bird’s eye view of mapped cities in Live Search for a greatly detailed experience.

The real push for improvement came to local search, where they compete with Yahoo, Google, and Ask among others for a piece of a booming multi-billion dollar advertising market. Microsoft hopes its local search combination of expert sources and user-generated content, along with their mapping technology, proves a difference maker.

Microsoft Breaks Out New Live Search Tools
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