In pursuit of Search...

We recently announced the launch of our new Live Search Platform. I was just amazed at the innovations that’s gone into this release.

There are three key areas I’d challenge you to try and not like:

Maps: – I was just amazed at the number of features and simplicity that was added. For a long time now we’ve been ahead of Google in terms of mapping but in this release, I think we outdid ourselves.

  • 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.  Live Search has increased its coverage of bird’s-eye and 3-D imagery and now includes 80 percent of the U.S. population.
  • Innovative local content index including user-generated content. Live Search now includes broad access to user-generated content from Live Search and from across the entire Web.

Mobile version: – I’ve been using on my mobile for the past 4 months at least. And, I’m in love with it. With the latest addition of voice, and enhanced search capabilities it’s nothing short of awesome. Some of the salient features are,

  • Live Search for Windows Mobile with voice input. The updated Live Search for Windows Mobile now includes voice input (beta version), gas prices, and hours of operation for businesses.
  • Live Search 411.  Live Search now has a new toll-free number, 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.
  • Live Search for use with BlackBerry® Devices. Live Search designed for use with BlackBerry devices is in beta. – Finally, I think we all deserve a second chance! J just give live search a shot, it’s always a matter of YOUR choice – you can easily go back to using yahoo or whatever other search engine you use! ;) but, do try something new!

And since you won’t take my word for it, here’s what Gartner had to say: “It’s clear you guys know how to build innovative technology.  You’ve been ahead of Google in maps for awhile and now it looks like you’ve passed them in other areas.” -- Gartner analyst, Van Baker

We are Microsoft, we are not used to being #2 – We will continue our pursuit to offer our customers a better experience.

-Mithun Dhar