Microsoft insists that its UK version of Bing – its brand new search engine – will benefit from being less evolved than its US counterpart, with the company explaining why it will stay in beta on this side of the pond.

The US version is being fully launched much earlier than the UK version – bringing functionality that is not present in Britain and Ireland's Bing.

But Search Lead Paul Stoddart believes that it is actually beneficial to stay in beta for a while and learn a few lessons before the UK version is marketed.

Beta buy

"The US product is obviously more evolved and we are making it clear that UK Bing will launch in beta," said Stoddart.

"But we have engineers committed to making the UK product fantastic and perfect for the market. Obviously between the US and the UK markets not everything is applicable.

"We have 60 engineers in Soho concentrating on making Bing the best search engine for the British market."

Highfield

The presence of former iPlayer (and the ill-fated Project Kangaroo) chief Ashley Highfield – who is now the MD of Microsoft UK – means that the push for the UK audience will be stalled until the time is right, says Stoddart.

"The UK Bing is absolutely under the beta label and we will not be marketing this for the UK until we are ready; that's something that Ashley [Highfield] will absolutely not let us do until it is ready for the UK market," adds Stoddart.

"I think the UK staying in beta for a while is absolutely a good thing. Not only do we get all of the feedback from the 10 million users in the US, but we also get those 60 engineers working to make it even better."