Microsoft has revamped its Live Search engine, expanding the types of searches users can run.
The development comes as Microsoft's bid to buy Yahoo drags on.
In an interview with Computer Weekly, Brad Goldberg, general manager, search engine business at Microsoft, said the company was well-positioned to be a strong search engine company, and was taking long-term investments in datacentres and search technology to become the alternative to Google. "Microsoft is significantly investing on a worldwide basis because we think search is a critical area for us," he said.
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The user interface has been expanded to provide local and mapping information, together with integrated location-based services via mobile devices. Microsoft said it had improved the way Live Search finds images, presenting images on a single page to avoid users having to click "next page" to see more.
Microsoft said Multimap had been reworked to provide better local search features, together with a bird's eye view from Virtual Earth.
Microsoft has also developed mobile search. The "Find My Location" feature in Mobile Live Search is designed to identify a user's location and find the nearest restaurant or cinema, for example, and offer directions on how to get there.