Microsoft is opening three new European research centres as it steps up efforts to catch search leader Google. Microsoft says the new European search technology centre will have hubs in Paris, London and Munich.
It added its budget for research and development in Europe, which currently stands at $600 million a year, would increase.
"We are the challenger, not the leader, in search, but we believe strongly that search is in its infancy and there is so much room for innovation," said chief executive Steve Ballmer, speaking in Paris. "For companies like Microsoft search is the key for unlocking huge new opportunities in advertising."