Microsoft is quietly adding services to its Windows Live portfolio to compete with services Google and Yahoo already have in place.Microsoft confirmed through its Waggener Edstrom public relations firm Friday that it is readying two new searches\u2014Windows Live Product Search and Windows Live Academic Search\u2014that will be a part of Windows Live Search. The LiveSide blog, written by Microsoft-dedicated beta testers and Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs), previously reported on the new search offerings. MVP is an award Microsoft gives people who are active and helpful in communities for Microsoft\u2019s different product groups.Windows Live Product Search will be similar to Google\u2019s Froogle service, in that it performs price comparisons on products and allows the user to refine the search results by category, brand, seller or specific keywords, according to a LiveSide posting by Chris Overd, one of the blog\u2019s authors."It is also rumored that as well as including expert or user-provided buying guides, Product Search will also provide access to discussions on products from articles and blog posts, something Froogle does not yet do," he wrote.Yahoo also allows users to search for products through its Shopping search service, which can be accessed on its home page.Academic Search, aimed at Google Scholar, will allow users to search articles in academic journals or find out if books or articles are available in a library located near the user, according to another LiveSide posting.According to LiveSide, Academic Search will allow users to do the following:View an abstract for an academic article in a search preview pane.\n\nView the complete article, as long as it is not being hosted on a website that requires a subscription or is restricted-access.\n\nView a complete article as long as they have a valid subscription to do so.\n\nPurchase an article electronically using the British Library. \n\n\n\nMicrosoft said Friday Academic Search would be available in beta form before late September. The company declined to release details for Product Search, but said they would be forthcoming.\n\nIn an e-mail Friday, LiveSide\u2019s Overd wrote that it seems Microsoft is "stacking up the services against Google."\n\nMicrosoft also recently made available an image search for Windows Live that is similar to Google\u2019s image search service.\n\nThe service, called Windows Live Image Search, allows users to search for images on the Web. It is available in both the United States\u00a0and the United Kingdom\u00a0by typing in a search term and clicking on "Image" to find images.\n\nYahoo also offers image searching as an option on its search homepage.\n\n-Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service\n\nThis article is posted on our Microsoft Informer page.\u00a0For more news on the Redmond, Wash.-based powerhouse, keep checking in.\n\nAlso, have a listen to CIO Publisher Gary Beach\u2019s podcast on Microsoft\u2019s upcoming operating system, Vista, as well as the topic of open source.\n\nCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.