Messenger email: more hints at a Windows Live Search rebrand (UPDATED)

3 weeks ago we wrote about some interesting tidbits that seemed to hint at a new name for Live Search: Windows Live Search.  While the sources appeared to be legitimate, we stopped short of proclaiming a name change, and we’re not ready to call it a done deal even yet.  However have come across some more fuel to add to the fire, thanks to tipster Andyman, who forwarded us an email from “communications_msn_cs_enuk *at* microsoft *dot* msn *dot* com” (loving those tips, keep em coming!).   In a marketing email touting the new Hotmail and the Messenger beta among other things, the new-name-that-has-yet-to-be-named popped up again:

wlsearch1_thumb_652add75 News

Since the email, which by all appearances, links, etc., seems legitimate (anyone else in the UK get this?), and since the material is topical and new, referencing the new Hotmail and the Messenger beta, it’s doubtful that this is just old material resurfacing, or a hoax.  It’s much more likely that either a new name change is coming, or that Microsoft’s marketing is as confused as the rest of us about the revolving door naming policies surrounding Windows Live.

For what it’s worth, we’re all for a return to the Windows Live Search name.  Even though internally Live Search remains separate from Windows Live (and we’re hearing that there are no immediate plans to change that), consolidating the brand externally just seems like the right thing to do.  We expect a big marketing push for Windows 7 and Windows Live leading up to next year’s back to school and holiday shopping season, and Live Search is sorely in need of all the marketing help it can get.

UPDATE:  Just received an email from a Microsoft spokesperson from the UK, who says the email is in error, and there are no current plans to change the name.  Here’s the statement:

There are no current plans to change the Live Search Brand to Windows Live Search. The inclusion of Windows Live Search in a recent Microsoft communication was an error and will be corrected in an upcoming newsletter to the same distribution list. We apologise for any confusion this may have caused.

We’ll leave it at that for now, and leave you to decide what to make of it all.