Microsoft plans to unveil updated search engine

Software giant Microsoft plans to officially launch its updated and renamed Internet search engine, the latest step in a massive effort to make headway against market leaders Yahoo and Google, an Associated Press report said.

Live Search had previously been available in test form and was the successor to MSN Search, Microsoft's current search engine, the report said.

It ranks a distant third in US popularity after Yahoo and Google, according to the most recent data from Nielsen/Net Ratings.

The release was also part of the Redmond software company's push to offer a number of free, Web-based services under its new "Live" brand name.

The approach had been aimed at helping the company establish a fresh, separate Internet brand for those services, but it had also confused some users who were more familiar with the company's traditional MSN Internet branding strategy, the report said.

Microsoft plans to use Live Search on its MSN portal, with plans to promote it later this fall.