Microsoft has launched a voice activated local search service, Live search 411. The service delivers maps, directions, and web results to mobile phone users. Information can also be requested and received by SMS. The Microsoft offering of 1-800-Call-411 joins Google’s 1-800-Goog-411, which was released in April 2007.
Connect to any business listing you find
Receive SMS links to maps, driving directions and traffic conditions
Get movie show times and even buy tickets over the phone
Share text messages of business details with friends so they can easily meet you
Hear the current weather conditions and the forecast
Quickly access travel resources like airlines, hotels, and rental cars
Remember your personalized locations for movie theaters, weather, and traffic, and your preferences for receiving text messages.
Live Search 411 features include (from the LiveSearch blog):
Unlike traditional call assistance services like the yellow pages, the service is free for searchers, with businesses being charged per lead. For the SMS service there is an option of placing a locally targeted advertisement next to the message. Yahoo! has not indicated whether it will join Microsoft and Google in voice search.