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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Microsoft Search Rebranding to Kumo – Can It Be True?

Posted by @ 4:32 pm

The official Microsoft rumor mill went into overdrive this week with speculation that the tech giants search engine was undergoing a re-brand.

Liveside, an unofficial Windows Live blog, was first to launch speculation of the potential Microsoft search re-brand. The post suggests Microsoft could be changing Live Search to Kumo – which apparently “means ‘cloud’ or ‘spider’ in Japanese”.

The Liveside blog reported that Microsoft had taken control of the domain during the week, and the domain was now pointing to an internal Microsoft test site (for viewing by employees only).

Back in October, Live Search re-branding news was in overdrive with several UI tests being reported and a myriad of leaked screenshots.

Microsoft employees have been fairly open about the Live Search branding issues and the need for a re-think on the matter. There was early reports that they would revert back to Windows Live Search branding as a quick win.

With all the speculation aside, does a re-brand really make much difference in Microsoft’s attempts to increase its market share?

It’s probably not as critical as getting the algorithm right, or finding a way to rapidly increase adoption, but if they are planning a re-brand, the quicker they get it done the better.

Microsoft wouldn’t want to undermine any inroads they make in terms of market share now, by re-branding later and confusing new users.

What do you think of Kumo as a new brand for Microsoft Search? Share your thoughts below.

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

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