Yesterday Microsoft announced a new service called Live Search 411 which will be available soon. Listen to the description: “Customers can gain toll-free access by dialing (800) CALL-411 from any phone to find and connect to local businesses and other local information such as weather updates, movie show times and airline information. People using a cell phone with Internet access can also receive links to traffic maps from Live Search 411.”
What’s that you say? It sounds similar to Google’s free service called GOOG-411? Well, it is, but who came first? Microsoft’s Live Search 411 was developed jointly with Tellme Networks which they acquired back in mid-March. Some of you probably remember that about a month after Microsoft acquired them, and a week after Google launched their 411 service, Tellme launched their own 411 Service. Both were probably under development at the same time, but Google happened to launch theirs first.
At the time of the launch we did a quick comparison and found that Google’s service was a bit faster than Tellme’s, but Tellme offers much more information. We concluded that if you were doing a business search, stick with Google, but if you wanted something like stock quotes or weather, Tellme would give you what you want. Seeing as Microsoft’s Live Search 411 isn’t up and running yet, there’s no way to tell what the service will be like.
All I have to say is enough of the competition already. It seems like Google and Microsoft are ALWAYS competing, and it’s not that one is really worse than the other, they both do it. While competition is usually a good thing, often times when Microsoft and Google are competing, it hardly seems worth it. So who came first? Well, technically Google, but if I’m right, Microsoft’s service is just Tellme’s branded with a new name in which case they were in development at the exact same time.