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Yahoo announces text message mobile Web search

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CIOL Bureau
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SAN FRANCISCO: Yahoo Inc. is rolling out a service that will let users in the United States tap the Internet media giant's Web search using text messaging, matching a service now offered by rival Google Inc.

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Yahoo also said that it was expanding its Yahoo Search on Mobile, which was previously available only on advanced phones such as the Treo. Now, the service yields a full Web search on virtually any phone with a color screen.

The latest mobile search move by Yahoo comes as Web search firms are looking to boost business by providing services to users while they're on the go and away from their personal computers.

"Our goal is to deepen the relationship with our desktop (PC) users," said Thad White, who runs mobile services for Yahoo, the most-visited Web site on the Internet.

Last October, Google, the No. 1 Web search engine had launched its own service that let users use mobile phones or handheld devices to do Web searches using text messages, or short message service, which is also known as SMS.

Both the SMS Web search and the Yahoo Search on Mobile services use shortcuts that take less time for users to input their queries.

Unlike Google, however, White said that once a user retrieves a reply from Yahoo's text message search service, they can refresh it without having to retype the query. That could be useful, he said, for retrieving the latest stock quote on a company.

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