Microsoft has, it might come as a surprise, announced the official launch of Bing in the UK on Friday.

"Following a period of trial and continued in-depth analysis of consumer usage and behaviour, the service has been put through its paces and Bing is now shedding its beta tag", the company said in a statement.

Having carried the beta tag for the last 5 months, Microsoft’s European Search Technology Centre believes now is the time to shed the beta moniker and go legit.

UK visitors will get a localised UK homepage, Visual Search, the promise of more instant answers, Twitter search capabilities, shopping data via Ciao, and Bing Maps.

"Bing is ready for the UK consumer, with our revolutionary way of searching the Internet proving very popular.  Features such as Categorised Search, Twitter and Visual Search, are providing a different and intuitive experience, and are enabling us all to make informed decisions and discover more of the web – faster", said Ashley Highfield, VP and MD for Consumer & Online, Microsoft UK.

However UK visitors won't be getting all the latest updates at the same time as the US. Wolfram Alpha for example is still nowhere to be seen.