Microsoft boosts search investment in Europe

Microsoft HQ

Microsoft has stepped up its efforts to challenge Google in the online search business by announcing a new research facility to be based in Europe.

The company, which tried to buy number two search company Yahoo earlier this year, said it would increase its R&D investment in the region by opening a new European search technology centre with based in three locations: Paris, London and Munich.

"We need to draw on the world's smartest, most creative minds. Increasingly, we are finding the talent we need here in Europe," chief executive Steve Ballmer said in a statement ahead of a conference in Paris today.

Microsoft currently invests more than 300 million annually in research and development within Europe. The company confirmed the figure would rise, but failed to confirm exactly how much spending would increase by.

Microsoft has about two per cent of the European online search market, according to research firm ComScore, compared with Google's 79 per cent.

It recently bought UK mapping specialist Multimap, price-comparison site Ciao and enterprise search company FAST as part of its strategy to increase its share of web search traffic.


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