Microsoft preparing to launch Kumo on June 2nd?

Remember all of the buzz a few months ago regarding Microsoft's upcoming release of its rebranded online search engine dubbed "Kumo"? It appears as if Microsoft is finally going to be showing the world what it has been working on over the past few months this June.

Despite the fact that we still don't know what the actual rebrand name is going to be, there is going to be something big happening on June 2nd at SMX Advanced 2009 in Seattle. One of our forum members recently visited Microsoft's campus and noted that there were LCD TV's displaying a countdown with a preview of codename Kumo.

From what we've calculated the countdown is right on target with the keynote session at SMX Advanced 2009 featuring Microsoft's Online Services Division, Dr. Qi Lu. This is the first time that Dr. Qi Lu has given a presentation to the search marketing community since joining Microsoft, and given the fact that Microsoft is counting down to his keynote there is surely going to be a big announcement.

Maybe Microsoft has finally picked out a name for its online search engine, who knows. But we're definitely going to be seeing something on June 2nd. Possibly even a public preview as some sources close to the company have hinted at.

As soon as we know more about this, we'll let you guys know. Keep in mind though, Microsoft and Yahoo are still in talks once again for a search partnership. As if this couldn't get any more confusing.

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52 Comments

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I'm not pleased with Kumo name. I actually like the way Live Search looks, but it could use a different, more catchy names. But I don't think Kumo cuts the butter.

'Kumo' better do something better and different than Live Search. Live Search results are usually just fine for me, but there needs to be MORE. There's a bazillion ways to improve a search engine, and just a new name and look will not make it better than Google.

Google has become indelibly imprinted on the public brain, it's one of those words like "Hoover" for vacum cleaner, or "Bic" for ballpoint pen. Everyone Googles. When was the last time you saw a forum post advising " just do a Live Search for it" .. Kumo won't even get a second look, it's beaten before it starts.

I agree. The only way Google will be out done(and it will inevitably happen sometime)is by someone reinventing the wheel. Even if someone does make better search results, Google is THE standard in the normal stupid computer user world and like windows in the enterprise, it takes time for the wave of change to complete and will not happen without a major catalyst. The change will come when someone completely rethinks search and web indexing and presents it in a new way.

nikev21 said,
Google has become indelibly imprinted on the public brain, it's one of those words like "Hoover" for vacum cleaner, or "Bic" for ballpoint pen. Everyone Googles. When was the last time you saw a forum post advising " just do a Live Search for it" .. Kumo won't even get a second look, it's beaten before it starts.


Depends - Google guys could have been told that when they set up re: Yahoo! or Alta Vista. But you're probabally right :P

"Despite the fact that we still don't know what the actual rebrand name is going to be"

Um.... just a wild guess.... but.... Kumo?

Why do companies always release an existing product under a new name? Why don't they just use their existing search engine name?

notta said,
Why do companies always release an existing product under a new name? Why don't they just use their existing search engine name?

Because they want you to think it is new and different and better. Who cares if it is, possibly, just a minor improvement of the previous version.

draklin said,
Because they want you to think it is new and different and better. Who cares if it is, possibly, just a minor improvement of the previous version.

a lot do.

I quite like the name Kumo and it looks good on the mock up search page we saw a while ago. Microsoft branding can be long winded and not exactly quick work of mouth brands. Xbox and Zune are good. Kumo could be the next one. Few people say Windows Live Messenger, it's MSN or Messenger. They need roll off the tongue branding.

Maybe this time will beat Google then, unlike twice ( ! ) before.

Given Microsoft's track record in the search business, I doubt it, but I'll keep an open mind and at least try it out once it's released.

Soldiers33 said,
kumo doesnt sound right.

just like live doesn't sounds right for majority of the world right now.

Kirkburn said,
Fairly sure it's pronounced koo-mo, y'know.

Yes, if we end up reading it like that, it would be phonetic pronunciation. The "u" is pronounced as in "put" thus "kumo". Phonetic languages are very easy to read if you can read phonetically. So initially you'll end up reading the language but you won't have a clue what you are reading :)


Back on the subject, I have never liked MS' search just because personally I don't trust Microsoft's search results and I feel with Google I get more. Whenever I need to search something, "Google" is the first thing that comes to my mind naturally. It is my default response...I am so addicted to Google search, I treat it as if was the only search engine in the world. Before Google, I used to use metacrawler. It was the search engine of choice back then...

Couldn't it just be that google is just the way it is thought to be?
And maybe that is exactly one of the reasons it become so popular?

On the other hand it just could have been random chance,
and they just don't know what they're doing, they're just doing the best in it. :-)

The reason Google is popular is because its better at results. Generally thats why people choose one search engine over another. Anyone who uses a search engine because of how it looks is mad.

mmck said,
The reason Google is popular is because its better at results. Generally thats why people choose one search engine over another. Anyone who uses a search engine because of how it looks is mad.

To an extent, but I think they had an early edge due to the design after all the other search players became bulky, over-blown portals on the home page (I recall using the AltaVista text-mode interface because it was simply far more usable on 33.6)

I'm really looking forward to this and will hopefully stop using the ugly Google as my most used search engine

Calum said,
I'm really looking forward to this and will hopefully stop using the ugly Google as my most used search engine :)

Don't you mean the easy on the eyes, quick loading plain jane no frizz just give me the information Google?

As long as there just as many resluts as google, then I may use it. If its like live search, and its crappy resluts, then no thanks.

though Colliris is neat

warwagon said,
Don't you mean the easy on the eyes, quick loading plain jane no frizz just give me the information Google?

Google NEEDS Graphic and web Designers BAD.

Doesn't Neowin always complain about bloatware in all the places? Minimalistic design is always good. Certainly way better than overdoing it. More is not always better!

Chris-Gonzales said,
Google NEEDS Graphic and web Designers BAD.

as great as google is, a bit of a[n optional] redesign wouldn't go a miss

Tekkerson said,
Doesn't Neowin always complain about bloatware in all the places? Minimalistic design is always good. Certainly way better than overdoing it. More is not always better!

There is such thing as to clean, or to basic.

Chris-Gonzales said,
There is such thing as to clean, or to basic.

Use iGoogle as your portal if regular google is too plain. You can put whatever you want on it.

www.google.com/ig

warwagon said,
Don't you mean the easy on the eyes, quick loading plain jane no frizz just give me the information Google?

Yes But they could get all of that even with making the design slightly nicer. I mean, even a nicer blue colour on the links would be an improvement, but they could easily make the design slightly better whilst keeping the minimalistic, fast-loading, easy on the eyes approach.

It just looks disgusting as it is.


The Burning Rom said,
Use iGoogle as your portal if regular google is too plain. You can put whatever you want on it.

www.google.com/ig


That may be an option, but I just don't see why they can't update their default design so it actually looks nice. Like I said, even a nicer shade of blue on the links would be an improvement.

Google's newest favicon looks pretty good, they could easily make a nice design to go along with it.

Chris-Gonzales said,
Google NEEDS Graphic and web Designers BAD.

Whoa, that comment is scary! :D

Yes, well, if they maintain the minimalism. Alright -- if they want to, they can change their logo and background color or something, but they shouldn't ADD graphics at least.

Jugalator said,
Whoa, that comment is scary! :D

Yes, well, if they maintain the minimalism. Alright -- if they want to, they can change their logo and background color or something, but they shouldn't ADD graphics at least.


They shouldn't add graphics? I see no problem with adding a few nice gradients. Many websites have images and people don't have a problem with that. A lot of websites which have images also load incredibly fast. This is 2009, not 1999.

Calum said,

They shouldn't add graphics? I see no problem with adding a few nice gradients. Many websites have images and people don't have a problem with that. A lot of websites which have images also load incredibly fast. This is 2009, not 1999.

We are in the process of moving to web 3.0

The only reason people dislike Googles look is because its seen as "standard". If the standard was green links on black, no-one would have a problem with it being white and blue.

Its not ugly/messy, its just simple. I agree its not elegant, but its not trying to have glitter all over it. Why add "bloat", unless it improves user access then its almost pointless. Adding images and complex css would just increase load etc. for no reason. There needs to be a positive apart from "looking pretty" for it to be a good reason.

Jugalator said,
Whoa, that comment is scary! :D

Yes, well, if they maintain the minimalism. Alright -- if they want to, they can change their logo and background color or something, but they shouldn't ADD graphics at least.

Remember-- adding just 1k to a page generated 10 million times per day is 10Gb of bandwidth extra every month.

The rules are different when you get that big.

I've always thought Google was rather bland for my taste as well. I do like simple and minimalistic, but Google's is more bland than anything. iGoogle is a laugh, in comparison to Netvibes and MyYahoo!.

I really do like the current Live Search look, but it needs a better name than Kumo and much more improvements to compete well with Google.

mmck said,
The only reason people dislike Googles look is because its seen as "standard". If the standard was green links on black, no-one would have a problem with it being white and blue.

Its not ugly/messy, its just simple. I agree its not elegant, but its not trying to have glitter all over it. Why add "bloat", unless it improves user access then its almost pointless. Adding images and complex css would just increase load etc. for no reason. There needs to be a positive apart from "looking pretty" for it to be a good reason.


I disagree completely. It isn't because it's 'standard'. A white background with that shade of blue on the links just looks awful in my opinion. With today's internet connection, I see no problem with adding images and a bit more CSS to create something which is enjoyable to use. At the moment, Google is not enjoyable to use for me. What is wrong with a couple of extra seconds on the load time if you are sacrificing those couple of extra seconds for a design which actually looks nice?

Chris-Gonzales said,
Kumo IS live search :rolleyes:

I know, but not yet it isn't, which is why I am referring to it as Live.

Recon415 said,
I know, but not yet it isn't, which is why I am referring to it as Live.

Yes, but given its getting rebranded to Kumo, and the article talks about Kumo, it seems appropriate to name it kumo

Why cant it just be...

Windows Search
Windows Messenger
Windows Mail
etc.

Okay so Windows Messenger is technically a different thing to Windows Live Messenger, but my point is we dont need all these silly branding titles being put into the product names.

mmck said,
Why cant it just be...

Windows Search
Windows Messenger
Windows Mail
etc.

Okay so Windows Messenger is technically a different thing to Windows Live Messenger, but my point is we dont need all these silly branding titles being put into the product names.

There needs to be a brand for the INTERNET services.

mmck said,
Why cant it just be...

Windows Search
Windows Messenger
Windows Mail
etc.

Okay so Windows Messenger is technically a different thing to Windows Live Messenger, but my point is we dont need all these silly branding titles being put into the product names.

There needs to be a brand for the INTERNET services.

I'd tend to disagree - the names need to not overlap so not to cause confusion, but it doesn't need extra brands and names in product titles. And they especially don't need to be changed every few years - or they shouldn't do. Usually rebranding/naming something is an attempt to launch it is a "new thing" and gain customers. Anything working well is rarely rebranded/renamed, instead the new features are just added to the existing thing. Most of Microsoft's services a few years ago were a complete mess and then they tried to build a brand "live", now changing that to me just points its failing.