Live Search announcements at CES

We heard briefly from Steve Ballmer in his CES keynote address about new developments involving Microsoft's Live Search web search engine, so here's a recap and some further details you might have missed.

As previously speculated, Live Search will be set as the default search provider on most PCs that Dell sells, from February 2009, for the next three years. The deal involves "a majority of consumer and small business PCs" sold worldwide by Dell - in a total of 23 countries - also being preloaded with a Live Search enabled toolbar (it is unclear whether this will be the MSN Toolbar, Windows Live Toolbar or a different specialised toolbar).

Also announced, and also previously speculated, was a five year deal offering Live Search on Verizon Wirelss phones. Local, portal, mobile content and Internet search will be provided by Live Search on all new Verizon smartphones and feature phones in the US, starting from the first half of 2009. Some devices will be also able to use voice commands to control the search and be able to access maps and directions.

As well as this, the deal means that Microsoft will provide search and display advertising across Verizon's mobile web and search services, apparently providing targeted and relevant advertisements. Financial details of the agreement have not been released.

The final announcement is an update to the Live Search Mobile application for Windows Mobile. The update includes better location detection (you no longer need GPS for it to find your location), predictive query input (also known as relevant auto-complete), and Bird's Eye view maps (similar to that available in the full version of Live Search Maps).

The update works on Windows Mobile 5 and 6 and can be downloaded by navigating your mobile device to wls.live.com. To find out more about Live Search on your Windows Mobile, BlackBerry or other device, you can visit the Live Search Mobile site on your PC.

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9 Comments

Live Search may have a shot after all, Dell has around 15% of the PC market share, let's say the final figure is 13% come with Live set as the default. This could be a big boost to Live's tiny 5% market share.

RangerLG said,
Where did this article even mention the iPhone? Try two articles down.

The article didn't mention it. I am mentioning it.

Verizon blew it and lost Apple's iPhone. That, coupled with this newest choice, shows that they're not that bright. Besides, they have crippled phones and lousy plans. Not impressed.

Hopefully MS will get on with developing a real Mobile OS (maybe by 2010) instead of trying to fatten up the current WinMo pig. It's in a sorry state.

Can advertisement only make Live Search beat Google? I think they need to improve their search a bit more to be really that competitive with Google. If Google continues to deliver better search, users will still change.

i dont get it, how does a search engine help a company make money if its free. for example, i go to live search and search something, im not actually paying anything, so why is it so important, for them to beat google?

Soldiers33 said,
i dont get it, how does a search engine help a company make money if its free. for example, i go to live search and search something, im not actually paying anything, so why is it so important, for them to beat google?

You might click on a advert at the side of the page, or maybe a Sponsored Link. You theory does explain why Microsoft loses 130 million a year on Windows Live.

They don't have to beat google actually. All they need is a big enough % of the search market so that ad revenues cover the costs of the service. But also that's really just one part, all the other online cloud services they're starting to offer now will make money as well.

If MS has to pay gobs of money to force their way onto desktops and be the default search op for 2 minutes before everyone edits their prefs to Google, then good for Dell and Verizon. That's one way to beat the recession - partner with Microsoft's barely utilized services.

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