OVERLAND PARK, Kan., and REDMOND, Wash. – Sept. 18, 2007 – As part of the strategic alliance between Sprint (NYSE: S) and Microsoft Corp., today the two companies are providing Sprint customers with the industry’s first fully integrated GPS location-aware mobile search service in the U.S. with entire Internet search on Sprint phones. Voice search with visual results 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 catalog 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 theater – 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-and-visual technologies we’re delivering today with Sprint are a first in the U.S. mobile industry, bringing customers a smart and easy search experience on the phone,” said Brian Arbogast, vice president of the 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.
The enhanced Sprint mobile search experience powered by Live Search is immediately available at no additional cost to Sprint data subscribers on most data-enabled Sprint phones. On select Sprint phones, voice search will be available to customers as a free download. Standard data charges apply.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks serving 54 million customers at the end of the second quarter 2007; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.
About Windows Live
Windows Live™, a comprehensive set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. Windows Live is available at http://www.live.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft® Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.