Microsoft has set up a new research group to step up the pressure on Google by developing new search and advertising technologies that can be rapidly delivered to advertisers and customers.

The new Internet Services Research Center will be part of Microsoft's research group and work closely with its MSN web portal and other groups across the company, according to a statement.

A Microsoft spokesman said the centre will be based in Redmond, Washington, with teams also located in Silicon Valley and Beijing.

"We're committed to delivering better, faster search results for our customers and more creative, effective ways of delivering value for advertisers," said Satya Nadella, corporate vice president of Microsoft's search and advertising platform group, in the statement.

But the company still has a long way to go to compete with Google and even Yahoo.

In June, Google sites captured 49.5 percent of the US search market, while Yahoo sites ranked second with 25.1 percent of US searches, followed by Microsoft sites with 13.2 percent, according to comScore Networks.

Microsoft said Harry Shum, who was promoted to corporate vice president, will head the research centre. Shum has been chief scientist for the search and advertising platform group since early this year, the company said.

Just last month, Nadella denied rumours that Microsoft had a team of developers working on a cutting-edge search project. However, he added that his group needed to take risks in order to improve its position.

"We'll experiment," he said at that time.