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Microsoft isn't going to give up the fight any time soon. But the software giant is savvy enough to know that it may need to shift the battle to a different front. In recent months, Microsoft has been spending money to boost its efforts in what's known as vertical search, those niche markets where Netizens go when they're looking for specialized information. Think Monster.com (MNST) or CareerBuilder.com for job seekers or Technorati or Feedster for blog info.
Microsoft's vertical search acquisitions aren't that well known. And they certainly don't have the same kind of traffic as the Monsters and Technoratis of the Web. But they may form the foundation of a different way to keep Google in check. In February, Microsoft bought MotionBridge, a Paris-based provider of search technology for mobile phones. A few weeks later, Microsoft picked up Medstory, a small Foster City (Calif.) startup focused on dishing up health-care information. And in March, Microsoft announced plans to buy voice-recognition leader Tellme Networks, whose technology could help Microsoft bake voice recognition into its mobile search efforts
It all looks interesting, and the opportunities are there, let's hope they call pull this off.
Microsoft's Acquisitions In Search Sector [businessweek.com]