It's official -- Windows Live and the Windows Live Search service you'll find there are out of beta in the UK, plus it's now Windows Live powering the MSN portal that continues to run despite the new focus on the Windows Live brand. Oddly, when I got to the Windows Live site from the UK, the beta moniker is still there. And if there's a UK-version of Windows Live, that's nowhere in evidence. Details from what I was sent about the release:
Microsoft Corp. today announced the release from beta of Live Search and of Live.com in the UK, including final availability of Live Local Search. Microsoft also announced that Live Search will now power the Web search capability on MSN, the company's media and entertainment portal, attracting more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month.
Sharon Baylay, general manager of Microsoft Online Services Group, UK, said, "The launch of Live Search, Microsoft's new search engine, follows the recent successful launch of adCenter, Microsoft's new advertising platform which provides greater audience targeting. Live Search completes our strategy to compete in Search which goes beyond what people have come to expect of today's search engines. Live Search offers unique features, controls and personalisation to put consumers in charge of what they find online whether it be a web search, images, local mapping and more. Live Search pulls all this into a new, simple to use, service. This launch highlights our increasing commitment to search. Microsoft is number one in communications with leading mail and messenger products and now we're in a strong position to rival in the search space."
Postscript: Microsoft's UK PR company told me:
You're looking at the right UK version but the launch starts tomorrow and will take a day or so to be complete across the network.