A few days after Live Search 411., Microsoft has announced its very own free directory assistance service,
Live Search 411 has very similar functionality to GOOG-411. It is a voice-navigated free information service, powered by the recently acquired Tellme, that you can get to by dialing 800-CALL-411 on any phone.
Much like GOOG-411, you can find any business in a city and state of your choosing, then get its information and a map sent directly to your cell phone via a text message. You can also search by business category and connect directly to the business that you select.
The number is not yet active, and right now, you will get a coming-soon message if you try to call, so I cannot yet evaluate the service's ease of use or quality.
While Google was first to launch its 411 service and has already begun a billboard-advertising campaign in San Francisco, this is still an important launch for Microsoft. To compete with Google, the software giant needs to keep pace.
This is just one more Microsoft service that matches Google's offering. With thea few weeks ago, along with this release today, it's clear that Microsoft wants to take a real shot at dethroning the search giant.