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Windows Live Search Firefox Add-On

written by: Arnold Zafra•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 2/23/2009

Windows Live Search has just landed on Mozilla's Firefox browser as an add-on. With a robust built, this Firefox add-on could very well complete evenly with Google. But the question is whether Firefox users are interested at all, and will bother to install another search engine on Firefox?

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    As a major Internet player with its own web browser, it is difficult to understand why there would be a need for Microsoft to come up with an add-in that would put their other product, Windows Live Search on to their Internet Explorer's competitor - Firefox? But for what it's worth, the Windows Live Search add-on for the Firefox browser actually seems a robust tool. The question is, will Firefox users actually notice it or even bother install it on their Firefox installation? For for some who are a bit experimental and are always on the look out for fine enhancements to their Internet browsing experience using Firefox, they might actually install the add-on. Others who have grown accustomed to Google's search engine on their Firefox installation might not bother trying out Windows Live Search's Firefox add-on at all. And it does have some features that are worth looking at.

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    What the Live Search Firefox Add-on Can Do

    Aside from bringing the whole Windows Live Search experience on Firefox, the add-on also features the auto-suggestion which is similar to the browser search engine embedded on Google's Chrome browser. This allows you to type in your query on the Firefox browser and then get relevant suggestions for the right keyword to search for in Windows Live Search. Hitting the enter key on your keyboard will execute the Live Search command and would yield relevant results related to your query. And since the keyword you use came from Windows Live Search, you are pretty much assured that those keywords would yield relevant results. Most of the time the auto-suggestion functionality would yield various seemingly similar keywords. You can choose the suggestion that you best think suits what you are actually searching for.

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    Availability and Installation

    The Windows Live Search Firefox add-on is available for download in countries such as Canada, India, Australia, Ireland, the Philippines, South Africa, UK, New Zealand and of course the United States. You can get the add from Mozilla's site or by simply visiting this link.

    The add-on is based on Open Search standard and utilizes the JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) interface, which is supported by Firefox to retrieve auto-suggestion. It also features a built-in dictionary which was added a few days after the add-on was announced. Unfortunately, the Windows Live Search add-on forgot to include an auto currency conversion feature. Google Chrome beats Live Search in this department.

    But despite the oddities of the Windows Live Search Firefox add-on, it is still a pretty efficient tool that would greatly reduce the time you spent searching for relevant sites on the web.

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    Final Word

    The Windows Live Search add-on is not for everyone. Most Firefox users will most likely be using Google search already on their browser. And if they want to use Live Search as an add-on for a browser, they can always use it on an Internet Explorer browser. The thing is, despite being useful, the odds of Firefox users bothering to install another search engine add-on on their Firefox installation are very slim. It would have been a different scenario if Microsoft made the add-on more innovative and powerful. But as it is right now, aside from the usual Windows Live Search features, Windows Live Search on Firefox only aids you with searching with its auto-suggestion feature. Now, Google Search on Firefox can practically do that. Hence, only a die hard group of Firefox users might appreciate the Live Search add-on for Firefox. Most will simply ignore it.