Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday 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 powerful.
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.”
Tuesday’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.