Microsoft Releases New Search Services for Internet and Mobile Customers Latest releases complete fall updates for Live Search service, including

voice search and location-aware technology.

    REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Microsoft Corp. today
 announced the final updates to the fall release of its Live Search service,
 introducing a broad array of new services and features to its local and
 mobile search offerings. The new features and enhancements are designed to
 make it easier for people to find what they need at home or on the go
 through significant innovations in mapping, imagery and driving directions
 as well as new services to make the mobile search experience easy and
     Microsoft also announced the availability of the Live Search 411
 service. Customers can gain toll-free* access by dialing (800) CALL-411
 (800-225-5411) from any phone to find and connect to local businesses and
 other local information, such as weather updates, movie show times and
 airline information. People using a cell phone with Internet access can
 also receive links to traffic maps from Live Search 411.
     "Microsoft is building on several years of innovation in imagery and
 3-D visualization, adding some of the most significant innovations to
 driving directions technology in the last several years and expanding how
 our current 185 million customers can experience the improvements to the
 core of Live Search to include access from a wider variety of clients,
 platforms and devices," said Satya Nadella, corporate vice president of the
 Search & Advertising Platform Group at Microsoft. "Collectively, these
 improvements build on the work we did in core relevance and differentiated
 vertical experiences, and are an important milestone in our efforts in
 delivering a comprehensive, innovative search offering that includes
 mobile, mapping, Web and local services for customers to find what they
 need, when they need it, on any device."
     Today's announcement comes on the heels of the release on Sept. 26 of
 several new capabilities for Live Search, which included significant
 improvements in relevance and coverage in the core Web search service and
 expanded the range and depth of information available in areas where most
 customers were doing most of their queries -- entertainment, shopping,
 health and local searches.
     Today's release offers these key features:
     Maps and Directions
      *    Innovative driving directions. The new Live Search offers more
           accurate and easy-to-use driving directions, including dynamic
           rerouting of directions based on real-time traffic information, one-
           click directions that allow drivers to get only essential directions
           to their destination with no starting point needed, and inline hints
           that tell drivers if they have gone too far based on local
           landmarks. Combined with new, one-page printing, these new
           enhancements have taken driving directions to the next level.
      *    Innovative visualization and 3-D. Coverage of bird's-eye and 3-D
           imagery has been increased to cover 80 percent of the U.S.
           population. In addition, nearly 200 complete cities are available in
           3-D, and customers can now combine views of 3-D imagery with Live
           Search's unique 45-degree bird's-eye images, giving a complete and
           detailed geolocation experience. In addition, people who use Live
           Search Maps can create and share their own 3-D models of buildings
           through an alliance with Dassault Systemes.
      *    Innovative local content index including user-generated content. The
           new local search capabilities in Live Search include not only a
           broad set of expert sources but also broad access to user-generated
           content from Live Search and from across the entire Web, through
           searchable user-created collections and Keyhole Markup Language
           (KML) support.
      *    Virtual Earth platform updates. The Virtual Earth(TM) platform is
           the underlying technology behind well over 1,000 partner mapping
           solutions as well as Live Search Maps. Updates in version 6.0 of
           Virtual Earth include multipoint trip routing; enhanced geocoding
           that combines results for multiple geocoders; rooftop geocoding,
           which provides more precise geocoding results; map control support
           for Safari 2.0; and the release of MapCruncher beta, making it
           easier to publish maps overlaid in an application using the Virtual
           Earth map control. More details on the Virtual Earth platform can be
           found at
     Mobile Enhancements
      *    Live Search for Windows Mobile with voice input. The updated Live
           Search for Windows Mobile(R) 5.0 and 6.0 will be available for
           download for free on Tuesday, Oct. 16, and now includes voice input
           (beta version), gas prices, and hours of operation for businesses.
           The service can also use Global Positioning System (GPS) data on
           GPS-enabled phones to provide location-aware local search for
      *    Live Search 411. Jointly developed with Tellme Networks Inc.,
           acquired by Microsoft earlier this year, a new toll-free number will
           be available for anyone using any kind of phone to access the power
           of Live Search. Users can simply dial (800) CALL-411 (800-225-5411)
           and say the city and state, then ask for the business or business
           category to hear a list of options. Users say, "Connect me," to
           instantly connect to the business. Cell phone users can ask for a
           text message with a link to a map of the business.*
      *    Live Search for use with BlackBerry(R) Devices. Live Search designed
           for use with BlackBerry devices is in beta and will be available for
           download for free on Tuesday, Oct. 16. It is a new offering designed
           for use on BlackBerry OS 4.0.2 or later phones, and customers with
           GPS-enabled phones can use location awareness to enhance their
     More information on the mobile offerings will be available at and
     Market availability for specific features varies. More information on
 these updated features and services can be found on the following Microsoft
 team blogs: and
     About Windows Live and MSN
     Windows Live(TM), a comprehensive set of personal Internet services and
 software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships,
 information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and
 security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN(R) attracts
 more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized
 versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world
 leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers
 and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. MSN and
 Windows Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary
 services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1,
 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at
 Windows Live and Live Search are available at MSN is
 located on the Web at
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq:   MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
 software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize
 their full potential.
     * Mobile providers may charge a fee for placing calls.
     Microsoft, Virtual Earth, Windows Mobile and Windows Live are
 trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.
     All others are trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

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