Windows Live Mobile Search 2.0 Out

Microsoft released the second version of its Windows Live Mobile Search application on Friday, including some new features for both the standalone and Web-based versions of the client.

Versions of the software are available for Windows Mobile, J2ME, and in beta for BlackBerry devices. Unsupported phones will be able to access the new Web-based version. The iPhone can use the Web-based app, but a bug prevents the search button from working properly.

"When you do a search, hit "Go" on the soft-keyboard after entering your search terms as the normal search button is not active," Microsoft said. "The mobile search team will have a maintenance release shortly to address this issue."

In the Windows Live Search 2.0 desktop version, new features include movie showtimes and the addition of more local data and user reviews. The Virtual Earth maps functionality has been improved and users would have the option of increasing the cache by using a storage card.

The directions functionality has been bolstered as well, with better support for in-phone GPS and improved turn-by-turn navigation. The application would even prompt to reroute if it detects you have veered away from the given directions.

The Web-based version now allows for a single search box that shows results from Instant Answers, Local, Web, Images to News and Spaces. Two of these features are new to the Web platform, including Instant Answers and Image Search. Clicking on the links would show the page formatted specifically for a mobile phone.

Those with compatible devices can download the standalone version of Windows Live Search 2.0 by pointing their mobile browser to wls.live.com. The mobile search page can be accessed from m.live.com.

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