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Microsoft to open European search center

Company is reviewing potential sites for the center, slated to open during its next fiscal year, to better understand the consumer search habits, methods, and preferences of local residents.

Microsoft on Tuesday announced plans to open a search technology center in Europe as it seeks to bolster its Live Search efforts.

The center is slated to open sometime during Microsoft's next fiscal year, which begins on July 1, and a review of potential sites is under way. The site will be modeled after Microsoft's Search Technology Center in Beijing, China, which opened in 2005.

With these international search centers, Microsoft is looking to dive deep into understanding the consumer search habits, methods, preferences of local residents.

"Searchers have different expectations and experiences in every geography in the world, so we believe it is critical to make deep investments in physical locations in multiple markets to ensure that we're applying the best local expertise to our research and development efforts," Satya Nadella, Microsoft's senior vice president of the Search, Portal and Advertising Group, said in a statement.

Microsoft plans to build on its previous projects in Europe, where it has been working on enterprise search via its $1.2 billion acquisition this year of Fast Search & Transfer SA.

The software giant currently reaches 68 percent of Internet users in Europe via its online assets and display advertising, said Kevin Johnson, Microsoft's Platforms and Services Division president.