Windows Live Search for Mobile Launched

Earlier today, Microsoft released its new Mobile Search application on WLS.live.com.  I had a few minutes to play around with the Windows Mobile 5 version of the program on my Cingular 2125 and I must say that it is a killer application.  This release mostly focuses on local search, driving directions, and maps.  I am assuming that the maps portion of the application is powered by Virtual Earth, although I don’t have confirmation on that yet.

As far as the maps go, as expected, you can look around in either standard map view or aerial view.  The application will display traffic and driving directions right no the map.  It also provides turn by turn driving directions, accompanied by the map of the location of the turn.  We will try to get some shots of the application up soon, but for now, here are a few stock shots from Ideas.

 original News      original News

I really only noticed one minor point of irritation and that is that Search has the same Orb icon as Windows Live Mobile, but that can easily be corrected.  That said, this has to be one of my favorite mobile applications that I have seen so far.

Windows Live Ideas Signup Page
Try the Beta
(Still no post on the Mobile Team’s Blog, but I’ll update the post when that goes up.)

Update:
I forgot to mention that the Windows Live Search for Mobile application is available on Windows Mobile 5 and J2ME phones as well.

Update 2:
Gizmodo has a nice writeup on Windows Live Search for Mobile comparing it to Google Maps’ mobile offerings.  Check it out here (Via Scoble)