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Yahoo! unveils Yahoo! oneSearch 2.0
Posted: 02-Apr-2008 [Source: Yahoo!]

[oneSearch 2.0 enhancements allow users to initiate searches faster using text or voice.]

Las Vegas -- Yahoo! Inc. unveiled Yahoo! oneSearch 2.0, a new version of its award-winning mobile search service. Key enhancements will allow users to initiate searches faster using text or voice. Yahoo! also plans to provide greater relevance through richer, more detailed search results by opening up Yahoo! oneSearch to publishers to integrate content, simplify search input with Search Assist and voice-enabled search, and make search instantly accessible on the idle screen of many phones. These innovations build on Yahoo!'s strategy to become the starting point for the most mobile consumers.

"With the launch of Yahoo! oneSearch in 2007, we revolutionized mobile search by re-creating search specifically for the mobile phone, focusing on answers, not just Web links. In just over a year, we signed 29 partnerships with carriers across the globe, covering more than 600 million consumers under contract," said Marco Boerries, executive vice president, Connected Life, Yahoo! "With Yahoo! oneSearch 2.0, we are fundamentally changing the way consumers use the Internet on their mobile phones."

Yahoo! took a major step forward in enhancing its popular Yahoo! oneSearch service by previewing plans to open up mobile search results to publishers and developers across the Internet. By enabling publishers to integrate relevant content into the Yahoo! oneSearch results, it is more likely that consumers will be able to find exactly what they're looking for. Opening up Yahoo! oneSearch will:

* Turn web search results into answers -- the usefulness of the results increase as more actual content is returned versus traditional web links

* Unlock the power of the Semantic Web -- results integrate more helpful content, much that otherwise is not usually surfaced in search results

* Provide more relevant content -- consumers receive richer information, into which they can dive deeply

For example, whereas today's search results for "Italian restaurants" includes information such as addresses and phone numbers, open results could also include information from restaurant booking companies displaying the number of available reservations. Or, as another example, search results for "London" might provide transit schedules from public transit providers such as upcoming arrival and departure information.

By opening up its results, Yahoo! oneSearch will enable enhanced discoverability for publishers, providing them with control over how their content is presented in the mobile search results page and how it reaches the consumer. With an open search model, Yahoo! oneSearch is designed to connect consumers directly with their content right in the search results and generate more traffic to the publisher's content or site.

Open search results are expected to debut with initial partners in Q2 2008.

Yahoo! oneSearch is simplifying mobile search by taking the pain out of typing search queries on mobile phones. Yahoo! oneSearch with Search Assist provides:

* Faster and easier input -- reducing the time it takes to enter in your search query.

* Predictive text completion -- as you begin to type, Search Assist surfaces the most common search queries in real time that match the letters you have submitted so far. As soon as you see a query that matches what you were typing, select it and your results are returned. For instance, a consumer searching for information about "Hillary Clinton" can just type "hil" and search assist will instantly suggest "Hillary Clinton" along with "Perez Hilton," "Hillary Duff" and the other most common search terms containing those letters.

* Contextual recommendations -- Search Assist is intelligent enough to recommend more refined results than your initial query. For example, as you type in "Apple," Search Assist may recommend links such as Apple iPhone, Apple iPod, or Apple stock price.

At launch, Search Assist is available for the iPhone and is expected to become available on additional AJAX-compatible devices over the coming months.

While Search Assist is easier than typing, talking is easier yet. To make that possible, Yahoo! is partnering with vlingo, a leading speech-recognition company.

With the voice-enabled version of Yahoo! oneSearch, consumers can search for anything, including flight numbers, locations, Web site names, local restaurants, and more, by simply speaking. For example, a search query like "N-C-Double-A" instantly returns a rich set of results highlighting the latest tournament scores, upcoming game times, and breaking news. Whereas most mobile voice recognition systems are specific to vertical categories such as local listings, Yahoo! oneSearch with Voice lets consumers perform "wide open" searches -- returning relevant results for practically every kind of query.

Consumers do not need to follow prompts and think about how to say a mobile search; with Yahoo! oneSearch they simply speak whatever they are looking for and have access to instant answers.

Key Features Include:

* Wide-open voice-enabled mobile search -- Speak anything and get relevant results returned through oneSearch.

* Personalizes to your voice -- Voice-enabled Yahoo! oneSearch adapts to your voice the more you use it.

* Multi-modal input -- Allows users to switch between speaking and typing at any time, enabling consumers easy access to refine queries.

Available beginning today for select Blackberry devices including the 8800 series, Curve, and Pearl in the United States, the new voice-enabled Yahoo! oneSearch can be downloaded from http://m.yahoo.com/voice. Over the coming months, the product is expected to support additional devices and become available internationally.

Yahoo! is not only making it easier to enter a search query with Search Assist and voice input, but it also plans to make it easier to access the search box. Yahoo! today also previewed an innovative idle screen search service that makes it easier to search on your phone by integrating the search box right into the main screen. The idle screen will give users one-click access to Yahoo! oneSearch and the internet. Searching will be easier and faster, too -- no need to open your browser; simply search (using text or voice) and get the answers you're looking for. This idle screen solution is expected to roll out in Q2 2008.

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