Microsoft has announced the availability of its Windows Live Search beta increasing its search offering so it can make good its claims to usurp Google as the number one port of call for searches on the internet.

The new search service promises a new design and allows people to search across specific search categories, including image search, news search, RSS feeds, email search, local search, and searching of MSN Shopping and MSN Spaces.

The company also used today to launch its Windows Live Toolbar Beta Offers Searching and Browsing Tools.

Working in a similar way to Google Desktop search feature, the Windows Live Toolbar offers people the ability to search from any Web page using Windows Live Search while helping them save, organize and share the information that they find online.

Advanced protection against phishing and pop-up blocking is also included.