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Microsoft teams with Sprint on mobile Web service

Windows Live to power search for local content on some Sprint phones.

Microsoft and Sprint are launching a combined service that will allow some Sprint customers to use Windows Live Search to look for location-based information from the Web.

Sprint PCS Vision and Sprint Power Vision subscribers can, for instance, type in "sports" in the search box on their mobile phones and see results for local business listings, maps and ads, as well as Sprint ring tones and wallpaper with "sports" in the title.

Users will have to input their location by entering their ZIP code, address or city and state. Future versions of the free service will allow people to set the phones to automatically find their location and show results for businesses near them.

Mobile search is just the first service under the strategic alliance the two companies are forming, said Matt Champagne, director of mobile product management for MSN and Windows Live.