Editor's Note: Sandra Gittlen is traveling. In place of her usual column, we bring you breaking news nuggets from the world of e-business. Enjoy!* Microsoft looks to improved searchMicrosoft is changing its search strategy, by improving its own algorithmic Web search service and pulling out of the directory search business. Company execs didn't give much away, but hinted that the software giant would be working on improving personalization so that users would be able to receive search results that are relevant to where they are located.On the directory search side, the company said it has pulled out of a partnership with LookSmart in the U.K. and will be finishing its U.S. relationship with the search supplier in January.For more on this story, please go to:https:\/\/www.nwfusion.com\/news\/2003\/1103microtoim.html* VeriSign gets FlashierIn a bid to improve trust between online buyers and sellers, VeriSign has unveiled a snazzier design for its ubiquitous VeriSign Trust Mark seal.The updated design uses Macromedia Flash animation and will allow VeriSign to unilaterally peel off its seal from Web sites with expired or invalid digital certificates, the company said.The seal verifies to Web site users and online shoppers that the business bearing the logo is legitimate and that it operates the domain for which the certificate is issued. Clicking on the seal opens a Web browser window to display up-to-date information about the business as well as a validity period for the certificate.For more information about VeriSign's latest seal of approval, please go to:https:\/\/www.verisign.com\/corporate\/news\/2003\/pr_20031104.html?sl=070807* Commerce One is shadow of former selfWhat a difference a few dot-com years make. Commerce One, which at the height of the dot-com craze had grand plans to build online business-to-business trading exchanges, last week said it has cut 40% of its staff to 116 employees and has hired a bank to explore selling some or all of its businesses.The 9-year-old Pleasanton, Calif., software maker laid off 80 employees; at its peak, the company's roster was 3,700-strong and annual revenue was $400 million. After the dot-bomb, the company shifted focus to software development and its current flagship product is a "composite process management" system for integrating applications and business processes throughout a network of customers, vendors and suppliers.Investment bank Broadview International is working with Commerce One to evaluate the company's options, including raising additional investment cash, or selling assets.