First screenshot of Microsoft's Kumo emerges

We've known for awhile now that Live Search was going to be rebranded and receive a major update to the search engine. CNET news has come up with the first screenshot of Kumo (code name for the Internal Search Test Experience) and an email was sent by Search Executive Satya Nadella to the staff of Microsoft to check out the Kumo web site and provide feedback for testing purposes.

Below is the email CNET has provided

From: Satya Nadella
Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 4:18 PM
To: Microsoft - All Employees (QBDG)
Subject: Announcement: Internal Search Test Experience

The Search team needs you. We've been working hard to improve our search service and want to share the progress we are making with you. We are launching a new test program called kumo.com for employees to try and provide feedback. Kumo.com exists only inside the corporate network, and in order to get enough feedback we will be redirecting internal live.com traffic over to the test site in the coming days. Kumo is the codename we have chosen for the internal test.

In spite of the progress made by search engines, 40 percent of queries go unanswered; half of queries are about searchers returning to previous tasks; and 46 percent of search sessions are longer than 20 minutes. These and many other learnings suggest that customers often don't find what they need from search today.

We believe we can provide a better and more useful search experience that helps you not just search but accomplish tasks. During the test, features will vary by country, but you'll see results organized in a way that saves you more time. An explorer pane on the left side of results pages will give you access to tools that help you with your tasks. Other features like single session history and hover preview help accomplish more in search sessions.

Your Next Search...

To get started, visit kumo.com or click one of the samples below to see how it's possible to find the right results more easily:

As employees, you are some of our most informed users and our toughest critics, and we highly value your input and feedback to help us build a better service. You have been an important voice in our efforts, and the feedback you've sent us since the company meeting has been amazing.

When you visit kumo.com, at the bottom right corner of the each page you'll see a feedback badge. We ask that each time you use the test site, click the feedback badge and take a moment to answer four quick and simple questions. Feel free to reach out to give us extra feedback directly on our blog and by mailing (an internal alias). For answers to common questions make sure to see our FAQ.

We are committed to rapid innovation and improvement. Please give the test site a try, rate the results and let us know what you think.

- Satya

When we first caught word that Live Search was going to be rebranded back in August of last year, we noticed that Microsoft had purchased Kumo.com which was expected to be the new name of Live Search. In a statement from Microsoft, we have learned that Kumo was indeed only a codename for the internal beta process, "We can confirm that the Live Search rebrand will not be named Kumo."

At this point, we still have not heard exactly what the new name of Microsoft's Live Search will be.

Neowin has learned from another internal Microsoft employee, who requested to remain anonymous at the time, that there is a complete redesign along with the rebranding of the search engine. We're going to be seeing a ton of new features, which LiveSide has caught a sneak peak at, including search history, best match reporting, categorized listing, and much more.

The private beta is scheduled to start this month; no date has been announced at this time. Microsoft is holding its annual MVP (Most Valuable Professional) Summit this week in Seattle, and CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to announce more changes to Live Search this Wednesday in a session with MVPs.


Image Credit: cnet

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