Microsoft Corp.'s Live Local online mapping feature lets users share maps and other location information directly from Live Messenger, the new version of Microsoft's popular MSN Messenger.

Live Local is also available directly from Microsoft's Outlook Calendar, an office computer desktop staple. Users must first download and install some freely-available software.

The "Live" moniker refers to beta versions of Microsoft's popular Web services, so changes to these features are ultimately very important to Microsoft.

With the latest upgrades to Live, Microsoft is trying to use the strength of its ubiquitous office and consumer computer desktop software brands as a draw. That'll surely serve as an advantage over Google, which has very little office desktop software to speak of.

The goal of all the maneuvering is more traffic, which for Microsoft translates to a larger share of the estimated $13.8 billion to be spent this year on Internet advertising.

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