Owners of a mobile phone powered by Windows are now able to take advantage of an updated version of Live Search.

Microsoft revealed this week on the Live Search blog that the mobile version of the search engine now has the ability to automatically detect the location of the user even if their handset is not GPS-enabled.

This will make it easier for the user to carry out local searches for businesses and maps, internet marketing executives may be interested to note.

Live Search has also been updated to include predictive search query input and to offer detailed views within its maps service.

Jeremy Beasley, Live Search mobile product manager, said in a blog post: "Also, if you’re not running the latest version of Windows Mobile, don’t worry. We have you covered.

"We’ve built in support for Windows Mobile 5 phones to make sure that you can use these new features as well."

The news came as Microsoft announced that it is to provide advertising and search capabilities to Verizon Wireless, a mobile operator based in the US.

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