Microsoft has announced plans to open a Search Technology Center (STC) in Europe in 2009.

The company says the new centre will be designed to help "accelerate" Microsoft's investments in Live Search, following the recent announcement in the US of Live Search cashback, and will act as a European "hub".

The centre will be dedicated to "advancing the state of the art in search technology by delivering a locally relevant, more intelligent and powerful search experience to online customers around the world".

"As I stated in my May 18 memo about our Online Services strategy, today Microsoft has 68% reach to internet users throughout Europe through our online assets and strengths in display advertising; however, we’re not yet where we’d like to be in search in this critical geography", said Kevin Johnson, president of the platforms and services division at Microsoft.

"Success in search in Europe is paramount, and we see the investment in this new Search Technology Center as an important step in doubling down on our long-term investments."

The location of the European STC has yet to be announced with the United Kingdom, France and Germany in the running.