MSFT Live Offers Upgrades for Local WAP Search

LiveSearch

Microsoft has added new content and some upgraded features to Live Search for WAP. The Virtual Earth blog explains the new features:

  • 1-click directions for all businesses and street addresses in U.S.
  • Additional details for U.S. businesses, including neighborhood, business category, cuisine (restaurants) and hours of operation
  • Photos and reviews for U.S. businesses
  • Improved movie show times Instant Answers (we now show critics rating)
  • Added interactivity to all maps (clicking on maps now zooms in/out to predefined levels, or advanced to the next waypoint for routing maps)
  • Traffic & map Instant Answers
  • Mobile search for the China market. Scopes offered are local (no maps, but coming soon), web, images, news and Spaces.

The VE blog post has a range of nice screenshots of the new features. I may not have noticed it before but the WAP site promotes the free DA service 1-800-Call-411, as well as the Live Search client application (which offers embedded voice search).

All the major search engines on their WAP sites are now offering blended or federated search, which was initially introduced by Yahoo with oneSearch.

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I provided some additional detail in my post on this for Search Engine Land.