Microsoft enhances mobile searching

The Japanese unit of Microsoft, working with Japanese mobile content company Cybird, has launched the MSN Mobile Search service that the companies claim significantly boosts the number of Web sites and data available to Japan's mobile users, while offering mobile Internet channels for PC owners.

Mobile phone or PC users can access the service through a common URL (uniform resource locator),, to search about 80,000 mobile Internet sites. That is about 80 percent of the total number of mobile Internet sites available in Japan, according to Koya Kikuchi, MSN's marketing manager.

"Actually, nobody really knows how many mobile Internet sites there are in Japan, but it's estimated that there are about 100,000. You can now get to most of them," he said.

At the end of June 2004, NTT DoCoMo Inc. estimated there were 81,795 Internet sites for its I-mode mobile Internet service, the largest in Japan, with 42 million subscribers. Overall, 71 million of Japan's 83.1 million mobile phone users have phones capable of accessing the mobile Internet, according to the Telecommunications Carriers Association.

The next-biggest mobile search service is offered by Yahoo Japan, which offers "about 30,000 to 40,000 sites," according to Yoshie Tsukamoto, MSN's general manager.

"MSN was not the first to develop this sort of technology, but today we are pressing forward with the integration of mobile to PC to Web site," said Tsukamoto. "MSN strategy is focused on communications services and search services; these are our two core pillars. This agreement brings our core search services to mobile," she said.

Microsoft has acquired a license to use GigaCode, a search service dedicated to mobile phone content, provided by Cybird subsidiary Gigaflops Japan. Cybird started GigaCode service in 2000. Cybird developed MSN Mobile Search based on the GigaCode for MSN and will maintain and operate the service, the companies said.

MSN says that 32 million people in Japan use MSN services per month, including Hotmail, Messenger and its portal site. The move comes on top of several pushes by Microsoft into the mobile space in Japan. Earlier in August the company launched its first ever Web log service, which allows visitors access to blog sites from mobile phones.

"From the Japanese user point of view, we believe that users would like to enjoy these services both on PCs and mobile phones," said Kikuchi.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Kallender

IDG News Service
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >




Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?