This was first mentioned at CES, but here’s some more details on the new version of Microsoft’s Live Search application that adds some critical features. According to the company’s blog, users will now be able to automatically find their location, even without GPS, and when conducting a query, they’ll get suggested phrases based on inputting partial words. Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) has also added aerial imagery, and “mixed queries,” which means you can search for business listings in a geographic area other than the one you’re in. Live Search already had features such as voice search and walking directions.
The one downside about this update is that the client is only available with Windows Mobile 5 and newer devices. Microsoft will likely have to roll out these kinds of applications for BlackBerry, iPhones and Android devices in order to have a big enough audience to monetize through advertising. Perhaps that will change through Microsoft’s newly unveiled partnership with Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ), which has them rolling out search and advertising on all of the carrier’s devices.