The move, announced Monday, comes amid an increased focus on search generally and as Microsoft prepares to launch mobile-search capabilities as part of its overall .
"The emerging field of mobile search is strategically important and crucial to delivering on our vision for Windows Live of providing a seamless and rich information experience for individuals and businesses across devices," MSN corporate vice president Christopher Payne said in a statement. "With MotionBridge, we are excited to continue to offer mobile operators the tools to maximize the value of their content and data networks, and provide a powerful search engine for mobile users."
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Microsoft said it plans to continue offering MotionBridge's current services--which are used by cell phone operators such as Sprint Nextel, O2 and Orange--and use the company's people and technology to expand the mobile capabilities of Windows Live.
The company made the announcement at the 3GSM World Congress, a cell phone trade show, in Barcelona, Spain. Microsoft has already used the show to for mobile phones. CEO Steve Ballmer is slated to speak at the show Tuesday.