New location-based search service offered by Sprint.
As part of the strategic alliance between Sprint and Microsoft Corp., the two companies are now providing Sprint customers with the industry's first fully integrated GPS location-aware mobile search service with entire Internet search on Sprint phones. Voice search by Live Search for mobile using Tellme technologies will also be available on select Sprint phones as a separate download. The new services enable people to find Web, local, and phone content easily using traditional input methods or voice.
With the enhanced mobile search service launching today, Sprint customers can now:
* Search the entire Web, local listings and maps, and Sprint's mobile content catalogue using the same familiar search box powered by Live Search, on the Sprint mobile Web home page.
* Use Sprint's built-in GPS capabilities to automatically find local businesses and listings nearby quickly and easily without needing to manually enter location information. The new GPS-enabled search allows customers to give permission to let their phone automatically identify their location to return nearby business search results, such as the closest gas station, pizza place or movie theatre – all by simply typing in or, on select phones, speaking the name or category of business for which they are searching.
Additionally, Sprint is the first mobile operator in the U.S. to launch GPS-enabled voice search capabilities, which are powered by Live Search for mobile. Customers can simply say the business listing and then see the search results on the screen. Speaking rather than typing makes it even easier for customers to find the results they are looking for. This feature uses award-winning voice user interface design from Microsoft's recent acquisition Tellme.
"With Live Search on Sprint devices, Sprint customers now carry with them a GPS-enabled search tool providing open Internet search, local listing search and mobile content search, all in one easy service," said Kevin Packingham, vice president of product management for Sprint. "We look forward to working with Microsoft to continue developing innovative mobility solutions that bring together exceptional products and services from both companies for business and consumer subscribers."
"The location based and voice technologies we're delivering today with Sprint are a first in the US mobile industry bringing customers a smart and easy search experience on the phone," said Brian Arbogast, vice president of Mobile Services organization at Microsoft. "We are focused on working with industry leaders like Sprint to bring new and innovative services to market for customers, and creating new business and revenue opportunities for our partners."
Sprint and Microsoft initially announced their strategic alliance in November 2006, when the companies launched combined mobile content and local listings search capabilities and committed to delivering GPS-enabled search. The two companies plan to continue to deliver industry-leading wireless data experiences together by combining Sprint's strength in data services and Microsoft's award-winning mobile search experiences. On average, Sprint customers spent an industry-leading $9.75 per month on wireless data at the end of the second quarter of 2007.
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