Microsoft adds fancy search option for Firefox

A free add-on lets the open-source Web browser tap more directly into Microsoft search results.

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A Microsoft add-on for Firefox lets the browser show suggested completions of a person's search when they start typing it into the search box.
A Microsoft add-on for Firefox lets the browser show suggested completions of a search when someone starts typing it into the search box. Microsoft

If you had any doubts Microsoft didn't appreciate the advantages of Firefox's ability to accommodate add-ons, you can dispel them now. The company just released one that makes Microsoft's search service work better with the open-source Web browser.

"We're happy to report that we've officially integrated Live Search into Firefox by popular demand," said Live Search Program Manager Beatrice Oltean and Senior Product Manager Debapriya Ray in a blog post Thursday.

Like Yahoo's Inquisitor, the Microsoft search add-on connects to Microsoft's search site to suggest completions of searches as people start typing them into the browser's search box.

Microsoft is vying with Yahoo and Google to claim a greater share of the search market. Those rivals are more successful at the search advertising business, which places text ads next to search results.

According to Alessandro Catorcini, lead program manager for Live Search API (application programming interface), the add-on uses Microsoft's Live Search API 2.0. That's part of a project called Silk Road.