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9/21/2006
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Nokia Adds Microsoft Live Search

The deal will allow Nokia users to access Live Search directly from their Nokia multimedia computers and other compatible Nokia S60 devices.

Nokia said Thursday it's teaming up with Microsoft Corp. to integrate Live Search capabilities into its Mobile Search platform. It will enable Nokia users to access Live Search directly from their Nokia Nseries multimedia computers and other compatible Nokia S60 devices.

Live Search will provide advanced Web search results in 14 languages, with access to stock quotes, movie times, and common facts, Nokia said.

A pending announcement scheduled for early next week could see tighter integration with navigational search and mapping data, said Ralph Eric Kunz, vice president, Multimedia Experiences, Nokia.

Mobile Web and local search will play out as fundamental tools on cellular phones and other devices, analysts said, noting that consumers can expect to see global positioning systems (GPS) integrate more closely with search functions and become increasingly common in handsets.

Kunz indicated Nokia could reveal deeper integration into navigation and maps with help from companies that provide raw data for mapping, such as Tele Atlas. "We will bring maps and routing onto practically all our devices to create free maps similar to what you see on the Internet," he said. "You're going to see a solution in that area, and an announcement with a provider."

The search application would tie into a mobile map and navigation service that mapping technology gate5 could provide. Nokia acquired gate5 in August for an undisclosed sum. "We're in the process of doing the plumbing work," Kunz said. "The deal with Microsoft is part of the process. We chose to Microsoft after doing a similar deal with Yahoo because we want to give users choice."

Earlier this month, Nokia said Yahoo Search would become a more integral part of the Nokia Mobile Search application to find and connect with local services, Web sites, images, and mobile content. About a dozen deals have been signed with Yellow Page, predominately in Europe, too. Kunz said consumers can expect to hear about more similar deals.

One of the top mobile content downloads by type is from location-based and navigational services, such as MapQuest, according to John Gauntt, eMarketer senior analyst for mobile. "Consumers want search for either task, such as MapQuest, or commerce, show me where I can find the closest mattress store," he said. "Some of the younger consumers look for music."

Gauntt said integration with mobile search in telematics is another area consumers will soon see.

Yankee Group senior analyst Linda Barrabee agreed that one of the top applications consumers look for on a mobile phone helps them find there way. "Searching on a phone is geared more toward finding stuff fast," Barrabee said "You just want to get in and out. Be efficient and save the information, so you don't have to waste time searching on it again."

Part of Nokia's strategy involves more choices for searching on mobile phones. For example, Nokia has an application that lets consumers store numbers and addresses from a search query in an address book on the phone for later use.

In 2006, only 7 percent of U.S. mobile users age 18 and older browse the Web at least once monthly via their cell phones, according to Yankee Group senior analyst Jill Aldort.

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