Microsoft's digital head Qi Lu has confirmed, as rumoured earlier today, that it has signed a non-exclusive deal with Twitter and Facebook to provide status updates to its Bing search engine.

The two new services will allow users to use Bing to search tweets in real-time posted on the micro-blogging service.

"We have two deals to announce", said the demo man at the Web 2.0 summit conference. "The first is Twitter, which will be going live in the beta straight away, the second is Facebook which will come later".

Both systems will access all public data, leaving direct messages secure and out of sight.

The tweets will, however, be vetted for quality and factor in a number of features including quality of tweet, the length and relevancy of the tweet, the twitter users social standing (ie number of followers) as well as the tweet is being re-tweeted.

Users will be able to search tweets via a real-time stream as well as a cloud trending option.

Microsoft has also said that it will strip out links turning them back into full url's so users can see what the domain is before clicking on it.

The beta, which can be accessed via should be live in the next hour. 

UPDATE: Google has now said that it will be offering Twitter status updates as well.