Microsoft livens up Live Search to battle Google and Yahoo

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California, Sept 27, 2007 (AFP) – Microsoft on Thursday began phasing in a slick new version of its Live Search service in a bid to gain ground on leading Internet search rivals Google and Yahoo.

Microsoft’s improved Live Search will be available throughout the United States in a week and globally by the end of October, according to vice president of search and advertising platform group Satya Nadella.

“The core thing for us is to show user we made a quantum jump in search results,” Nadella said while demonstrating Search at an invitation-only gathering at Microsoft’s campus in Mountain View, California.

“This time, we feel we can claim we are as good as Google.”

Google, based in Mountain View, is the world’s most popular Internet search engine.

California-based Yahoo ranks second. Live, which replaced Microsoft’s MSN search service in 2006, has been mired in distant third place.

“Relevance of results has been my big gripe about Live Search in the past,” Gartner analyst Van Baker told AFP during a “Searchification” event at which the enhancements were unveiled. “It fell short of Google in relevance and I think Microsoft is catching up. The downside is Microsoft’s mess