Both Google (GOOG) and Yahoo (YHOO) have a cool feature in the Firefox browser’s search bar: Auto-complete. Type a few letters, like “Bara”, and Firefox queries the search engine and returns a list of probable results (like “Barack Obama”) on your letters, a genuine time-saver for power-surfers.
It’s hard to say why Microsoft has lacked this feature so far. It could be because Microsoft only wanted to work with its own IE browser and refused to dignify the competition with development work. Or because Microsoft search just wasn’t on its toes. Neither would be surprising.
But the sudden move to make Microsoft search attractive to Firefox users could be the work of new Microsoft online boss Qi Lu. Qi has said he plans a back-to-basics approach for rehabilitating Microsoft search — the new add-on is a promising first step if the goal is to truly compete toe-to-toe with Google.
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