February 15, 2007
@ 03:15 AM

I've been using Live Search for Mobile for the past 24 hours and it is hot, hot, hot. I was in the car just now and wanted to call the Metropolitan Grill to confirm our dinner reservations. Usually this involves calling 411, talking to some lame voice recognition system and then repeating myself to a human while getting charged mucho dinero for this "service". With Live Search for Mobile, it was dead easy to select "Seattle, Washington" from the canned list of metropolitan areas, type my search term ("metropolitan grill") and then call the number in the search results.

I thought this was cool but was going to criticize the product for only supporting major metropolitan areas but it seems I was mistaken. There is a comprehensive list of the major cities in every U.S. state. For Washington state they have local listings from Aberdeen to Yakima. Crazy.

Seriously, if you have a Windows Mobile or J2ME phone, you should go to http://wls.live.com. This is the coolest download I've gotten from my phone since Smartphlow. Kudos to team for creating such a useful product. It's rare for me to blog about one of our product announcements and follow it up with another blog post so soon afterwards but this product is that good.  


Thursday, February 15, 2007 4:06:39 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
have you tried http://411sms.com i use it all the time!
Thursday, February 15, 2007 7:25:09 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I agree with you, Live Search for Mobile absolutely rocks. I have been using it for quite a few months now (even when it was in beta) and the built-in maps saved my butt several times when I was on a road trip this past december in Chicago and Illinois. I did wish my phone had built-in GPS though.

I do find that the searching sometimes doesn't operate as good as I expect. It seems as though the fuzzy matching isn't as effective as it could be. In those cases where I can't use Live Search or don't have the patience to figure out the exact search query, I will turn to 1-800-FREE-411, which literally is a free 411 service. You have to listen to a short ad (about 5-7 seconds) before they tell you the actual number but it's useful in those pinch situations.
Thursday, February 15, 2007 2:51:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Wow, the install experience was actually pretty nice - a welcome change for WM apps. The app itself is way nice. I've used Google SMS instead of 411 for a while. That is now over.

I loved going to the Metropolitan Grill when I was out in Seattle - I'd make every case to take customers there (whereas most of sales people wanted to take them to Daniels Broiler). Hands down one of the better steak restaurants in the country. Sadly, after leaving MS, I don't get out there much any more.
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