Windows Live Search Comes Out of Beta

Microsoft has taken the “beta” tag off its Windows Live Search and Live.com portal in 47 markets worldwide, and from Live Local Search in the U.K. and the U.S.

“The launch of Live Search is a significant milestone for our services business, with our core search and monetization platform ready for prime time for MSN and Windows Live as well as for partners through syndication deals,” Christopher Payne, corporate VP of Live Search at Microsoft, said in a statement. “We now have the base to weave search through our services in ways that bring value to customers. This is just the beginning.”

MSN Search will begin to be powered by Windows Live Search beginning today in the U.S., with all searches to use Windows Live Search by the end of the week. All paid search ads will continue to be served by Microsoft adCenter.

Microsoft has been serving all ads on MSN Search and Windows Live Search through its adCenter platform since May, phasing in its own ads to replace Yahoo Search Marketing ads for the previous few months.

The Windows Live rebranding began last November, when the company unveiled its plans to move online applications like instant messaging, blog hosting and Web-based e-mail out of MSN and into a new ad-supported offering called Windows Live, leaving MSN to continue as a programmed content network with links to the Windows Live services.

Windows Live Local was launched in the U.S. in December, combining the former MSN Local with its Virtual Earth mapping platform.

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