Microsoft to unveil new Live Search features for BlackBerry, Windows Mobile

Software giant to announce new voice, mapping features for Live Search on BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices at CTIA 2008.

Microsoft is adding new features to its Live Search for Windows Mobile and the BlackBerry.

Microsoft already offers voice input for Windows Mobile users, and soon BlackBerry users will be able to speak commands to find businesses on Live Search and get driving directions with results displayed on interactive maps.

For Windows Mobile, Microsoft is adding the ability to view the address for contacts on a map and get directions and to view custom maps of locations and events created by you or others on a PC. Users also will be able to launch Web search directly from the client to find Web pages, product comparisons, and other information. In addition, Windows Mobile users will be able to view weather conditions and a four-day forecast.

It's unclear when the BlackBerry update will be available. The Windows Mobile updates will be out this spring.

The news is scheduled to be announced by Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division, who is giving a keynote speech at the CTIA 2008 wireless trade show in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

Microsoft is competing heavily with Google and Yahoo to be the best Web search experience on mobile devices, which is the next frontier for search, ads, and other services. According to Nielsen Mobile, Yahoo was the top Internet wireless Web brand in 2007, followed by Google and then MSN.

About the author

Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service, and the Associated Press. E-mail Elinor.

 

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