Internet search engine AltaVista will discontinue its free email service at the end of March as it intensifies its focus on search technologies. In a statement, the company said free email is the last of its portal-like services to be discontinued. AltaVista, which is majority owned by CMGI Inc., embarked on an ambitious effort at the end of 1999 to transform itself into an Internet portal like Yahoo! Inc. and offer a broad range of consumer services. When those efforts failed, it redoubled its focus on the core search business.