Microsoft follows Google into local search

Microsoft follows Google into local search

Live Search updated with location-aware technology

Microsoft has rolled out updates to the latest release of its Live Search service, introducing improvements to local and mobile search.

Following hot on the heels of Google's newly unveiled Google 411 local search offering, Microsoft announced the availability of its rival Live Search 411 service.

US customers can gain toll-free access from any phone to connect to local businesses, and find other local information such as weather updates, film times and airline information.

Mobile phone users 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 3D visualisation, adding some of the most significant innovations to driving directions technology in the past several years," 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."

Today's announcement follows last month's release of several new capabilities for Live Search, including improvements in relevance and coverage in the core web search.