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

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Windows 7 build 7048 screenshots show up

Next Story

The Pirate Bay down, but not due to the trial

52 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

google does a great job of getting what i want, but the primary reason i use it is because i use gmail and other google products. other than that, i'd love to use a search engine that gets more accurate results. we're to benefit in the long run.

LOL at all the Google worship, we need competition in the search arena and Live Search continues to improve, hope this continues the evolution.

Yes, because the look of a website really does determine the whole functionality now-a-days, doesn't it... :rolleyes:

Also, care to elaborate on why you think Ask "suks"?

I love the new interface shown here (the logo just needs to be orange as well ;))

One of the reasons I hate using Google is because of the ugly interface. Hopefully this re-brand will be efficient and give me the results I need. If it does then I will definitely use that full time and finally stop going back to that horrible Google search engine.

Google's UI is nice, and clean. It doesn't distract from the searching at all. And I usually care about aesthetics, being a web designer, but in the case of search engines, less is more.

Google is immortal. Nothing can kill Google. If this kumo really has strength to beat Google search, i bet Google developers might plan for more intense competition and they always beat to it

Google is a corporation that provides a service and exists solely to make money.

You read far too many comic books.

They made it look worse! If that's what Live Search will become, then I think I need to use a different engine. Live Search looks great, it's just the results aren't "always" great.

I use Live Search regularly, and I'd say it does fine 90% of the time. I don't know what people search that exaggerates the number to positively the worse, but I think it does fine for the most part. Just needs more users clicking on the right links to help guide the right results to the top.

You can't beat Google by releasing a whole new search engine. There's a reason for them being the market leaders, and if it was that simple, everybody would be doing it. Take Cuil as an eample of someone who wanted to rival Google but failed spectacularly.

If Live Search is naff after all this time, Kumo is going to be either just as bad or worse when it releases and they'll never be able to catch up with Google.

Now if they were to combine the search.microsoft.com theme with a Google results page, I would use it.

They have improved on the search technology greatly recently. I can asure you the new re-brand will be more relevant with results. I don't know how much more, but it will definitely be an improvement

CalumJR said,
They have improved on the search technology greatly recently. I can asure you the new re-brand will be more relevant with results. I don't know how much more, but it will definitely be an improvement ;)

We'll see about that.

I don't care in look and feel, they need to improve their ranking algorithms. I'd use it if it was provided in plain text and no graphics at all, if it beat Google in artificial intelligence and rankings. Actually, that would be pretty cool -- it'd that way be very fast too. But in either case -- this is a search engine, the rankings are key, and pretty much the *only* key.

After a product/service is announced...

Bob: I don't think it's going to be that great.
Jerry: You can't judge it until you know more about it!

After screenshots & minimal information surface...

Bob: I don't think it's going to be that great.
Jerry: You can't judge it until you've tried it!

After limited use...

Bob: I don't think it's that great.
Jerry: You haven't used it enough to judge it!

And others such as...
"You made up your mind before ever giving it a chance."
"Be more open minded."
and so on... and so on...

You can't say something is better than something else without trying both things. You also cannot say something is rubbish without trying it.

You can, but then your opinion is either biased or just very misinformed.


Oh you guys.

@ Rolith... They're both tossers.

@ Krome... I can't tell if you're talking about Bob or Jerry.

@ CalumJR... How do you feel about murder? Would you say it's better or worse (generally) than saving a life? Have you tried both? Have you tried them enough times to form a general conclusion?

You can judge one thing better than another without trying both. That doesn't make you biased. That doesn't make you misinformed. What it does do, is make you look biased and closed minded, leaving a huge openning for everyone who does't feel strongly about the actual issue to swoop in and feign righteousness.

It's bull on both sides.

Lets hope microsoft sort this **** out. Their search engine is on par with ASK or yahoo, which isnt saying much. Put firefox into Live.com, try it now. The first link I don't even trust and talks about Norton 2008!! Put firefox in google and its the first link, simple. On Live, its the 3rd one down. Pap.

spIdeZ said,
Just tried it, first result is www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox so I don't know what you're talking about

I just tried and got the same result as +_X_.

This is precisely the killer problem that live search has: the relevance of the top link isn't as good as with the equivalent google search.

I prefer live search for other reasons but I see this problem as the major turn-off.

I also got the same as _X_, however, I don't know what the 'Sponsored Search' or adverts were, I'm talking about the first two proper search results.

First result is www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox and 2nd is www.mozilla.org/projects/firefox

Whiel at google the 2nd is www.mozilla.org

You judge.

For me, in Live Search, the first result is something like "go.firefox.com" and the second result is "ie7.com". The 3rd result is the official Firefox website.

it does look just as lethargic as live search with a different coat of paint. they really need to bring something new as in we don't care about their algorithm that sucks compared to googles but to bring something to table that will make a person want to use it over google because of whatever reason.

The more challengers to Google's dominance, the better. Search engines still have plenty of room for improvement.

I think people are either enjoying mocking live search too much to care, or are not understanding what this is... it's microsoft's next version of their search engine / toolsets... so to say "This is going to suck" is like saying Wikipedia is going to suck because Ask Jeeves didn't work as an online encyclopedia... we haven't seen ANYTHING from what this thing renders when released in the wild, and until we have a feel for how it's algorithms work (after a few months of active use) there's really no point in saying "google's better" or anything like that.

As long as Microsoft can give me more relevant results I'll switch! Live.com gives some of the worst results I've seen. I dislike Google search, but the only reason I keep coming back is it is the most relevant of the bunch (even though it sucks too... Kinda a least of the evils choice).

Google maps. Much better then the ugly map quest (3-5 year old images!, gooogle updated theirs in 2007!) Yahoo maps is far worse, with almost 6 year old images.

Live Search Maps isn't bad either. As far as the Houston area, it gets my searches mostly right (friend couldn't find my new house built since 2 years ago on Google's), and seeing 3D cities within a browser is a plus.

Google Maps seems to have copied some of the elements of Live Search Maps...

Well I guess its got some promise, but it just like average right now, just like everything else out there. What I want to see screens shots of is Codename Morrow. I want to see how thats shaping up because I haven't heard anything since they announced it.

Live search does. Half the results are inaccurate and it doesnt have nearly as half as what google does.


when I search for something, I dont want to be bugged by a pic telling me what "cool" things I can search for. If I dont care for that, then I don't care. If I do, I'll type the name in... simple