Microsoft has acquired MotionBridge for an undisclosed sum.
MotionBridge specializes in mobile search, a feature that Microsoft plans to incorporate as part of its Windows Live service. The space is "at least four or five years away from figuring out the right technology and business model," says Ovum analyst X.J. Wang, but "has great potential in the local search market, which includes both mobile information and entertainment content."
Microsoft is banking that established Internet search specialists do not crack the mobile search engine market.
On its website, MotionBridge explains what it sees as the differences that will keep Internet-friendly search approaches irrelevant to mobile search. Some of the issues are the difficulty of entering search criteria into a mobile touchpad (which MotionBridge addresses with keywords), the difficulty of fitting many search results into a mobile screen (which MotionBridge tackles by organizing links into a smaller space), and limited predictive keyword completion.