Microsoft announced late yesterday the launch of a new mobile search offering—product search under their Live brand. Microsoft’s browser-based mobile product search, accessible from m.live.com
The Live product search page displays products available in online stores (though the “Near Santa Cruz, CA” in the screen cap below would indicate that brick-and-mortars are also searched), including prices, ratings and reviews. The search results also composite ratings on specific features of the products, including things such as ease of use, and report the results back to you.
A sample generic search results page:
As part of this roll out, Live is also launching the “Find My Location” feature in the UK and Japan, triangulating users’ locations from cell phone towers. The feature, which currently only works with Vodafone, O2, Orange or T-Mobile networks in the UK, is similar to Google’s “My Location” feature, announced in November.
Microsoft Live touts the new search features as helping shoppers comparison shop quickly and easily, just like we normally do at home—by reading multiple reviews and making sure we get the best price. The “Find My Location” feature will also help users find nearby businesses quickly and easily, without having to enter their location (especially helpful if you’re terribly lost).
The new features are, of course, welcome improvements. but as usual it remains to be seen whether Live will dominate mobile product search because of them.