Microsoft publicly testing codename "Kumo"

A few weeks ago one of our readers spotted a countdown to "Kumo" at one of Microsoft's campuses in Redmond. From what we've gathered, Microsoft could be preparing to launch a public beta of codename "Kumo" (Which is the Live.com rebranding, and "Kumo" will not be the final product name) on June 2nd as that is when the countdown runs out.

Today one of our readers spotted significant changes when he visited Live.com. The interface he was presented with resembles what we've seen thus far from the internal "Kumo" beta. So without further ado, here's what codename "Kumo" could turn out to look like when Microsoft's ready to reveal it to the world:


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From what we've been told "Kumo" will not be the final name for the Live Search rebrand, LiveSide.net and Mary Jo Folley noted that Microsoft trademarked "Sift" and "Swivel".Looks like Microsoft is doing some public testing of "Kumo". The design looks fabulous; hopefully the search results will turn out better as well. What do you think?

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Well without being signed into my Live account and also tested the same in a Virtual Box fresh install of Puppy LInux.
I tested that one just to make sure there was no trace of cookies or any other configuration.
Found the following:

A search for "Mature Wines"- I was looking for a price lists or brands of wines plus how long they take to mature.

Upon typing "Mature" the autocomplete gave me some unwanted results- Adult topics. By default the search page should filter out those results.
I would expect that on google if I turned off the filter. The filter is not default on to filter those results. I am an Adult but I was thinking about a child using the page.

I like the current Live Search look, much better than this new Kumo one. Kumo

For instance, on Live Search, the search categories are right on top of the search box in a style that is not distracting.

In Kumo, the search categories are along the left side, and do not add any extra functionality, nor aesthetics. It requires me to move my mouse more, and it just sticks out ugly, while Live Search kept it noticeable, but laid back in contrast to the background pic.

I can design a much better looking search engine than what the Live Search team is doing.

Quikboy said,
I like the current Live Search look, much better than this new Kumo one. Kumo

For instance, on Live Search, the search categories are right on top of the search box in a style that is not distracting.

In Kumo, the search categories are along the left side, and do not add any extra functionality, nor aesthetics. It requires me to move my mouse more, and it just sticks out ugly, while Live Search kept it noticeable, but laid back in contrast to the background pic.

I can design a much better looking search engine than what the Live Search team is doing.

Yea, the design is a bit ugly.
I'd love if they would remove those ads.

There are numerous Japanese restaurants named Kumo. Is MS planning to sue them over the name? Or will they sue MS?

I think the name is terrible for a search engine to begin with. MS is diluting its brand with all this mumbo jumbo. MSN... Live... now this, and it all leads back to the same place. What does a "Kumo" even mean? MSN meant something, Live was suggestive of something, but Kumo?

toadeater said,
There are numerous Japanese restaurants named Kumo. Is MS planning to sue them over the name? Or will they sue MS?

I think the name is terrible for a search engine to begin with. MS is diluting its brand with all this mumbo jumbo. MSN... Live... now this, and it all leads back to the same place. What does a "Kumo" even mean? MSN meant something, Live was suggestive of something, but Kumo?

Kumo is just the codename. Live.com will be the actual name.

EddiePwnsYou said,
Kumo is just the codename. Live.com will be the actual name.

Microsoft have said Live Search (or Live.com) will not be the name of this new service :)

They are re-branding it completely.

It shouldn't be Kumo either.

If you visit Live.com, change the region to Canada (French) then search 'Kumo.com' it produces some intresting results of what people have search using kumo. Try it...

Looks are one thing but does it deliver good search results? If it does, Microsoft has a real winner here. Again.

C_Guy said,
If it does, Microsoft has a real winner here. Again.

:p

As for search results, yeah, they seem to be pretty good in my experience.

its only available if you change your location to united states so it seems, i just tried it! looks rather snazzy to m. although the search results page seems to look the same to me

That's because you are not using the same version as what is shown here.

When you change your location to "United States", you are still seeing the current Live Search but it just has the background image this one has (with the birds). You can tell by the blue header which is above the bird image.

This news article is on about a version which has the codename Kumo user interface (with the search options at the side on the homepage).

In fact, an easy way for you to tell is by looking at the colour of the 'search' button with the magnifying glass. If that button is green, you have the current Live Search. If that button is orange, you have this new 'test' version which EddiePwnsYou has.

andrewbares said,
How did he get it??? Just lucky?

Ricksterm got the background by changing his market to "United States". Anyone can do that. I can and you can if you try it.

I was just letting him know that this is the current United States Live Search and not the Kumo-like Live Search which is written about in this article :)

How EddiePwnsYou got the Kumo-like Live Search? I really don't know He may have just been lucky. Microsoft may be testing it on certain servers which are used for the public? I can't think of any other reason. Maybe someone else can

Microsoft just can't make good-looking websites. Every single one of Microsoft's websites is ugly and boring. They ought to hire a new designer, one who actually knows how to design sites without Frontpage. The design is the main thing that turns me off from Live Search/Kumo.

Epic fail, I love Windows Live Search's UI, I just can't use it because the results suck so badly... Maybe Kumo might actually have results that I can live with.

Ugly and boring is what Google is. As great of a search engine as it is, aesthetics aren't Google's forte. I always found Live Search to be easier on the eyes (not quite so stark and barren), and Kumo looks to be even nicer.

To the person who said "Too much free space"...have you looked at Google.com lately? Its just as bad, if not worse.

So you think Kumo is ugly? Which search engine do you use then? In my opinion this codename "Kumo" is beautiful compared with Yahoo! Search and especially compared with Google Search.

Yea Live Search looks great. Google is like that commercial, PJBlands, where they serve the guy a cardboard sandwich, and then their like, "What if it came with a (cardboard) salad?" and the guy's like, "It's still cardboard" lol.

Calum said,
So you think Kumo is ugly? Which search engine do you use then? In my opinion this codename "Kumo" is beautiful compared with Yahoo! Search and especially compared with Google Search.

I use Google search. I rather like its minimalistic design- where I can get my stuff done without the design getting in the way. That's what all commercial sites should aim for- easy to use, with little to no UI to get in the way of getting stuff done.

dhan said,
big.ass.watermark FTW

FTL. Did Neowin purchase these screenshots from EddiePwnsYou? I can steel images from others and put my watermark all over them as if they are my original content too.

Shadrack said,
FTL. Did Neowin purchase these screenshots from EddiePwnsYou? I can steel images from others and put my watermark all over them as if they are my original content too.

Um... dude. I have also video proof if you want.

I can do live streaming of my desktop and anything you want.
Those screenies were taken by me.

EddiePwnsYou said,
Um... dude. I have also video proof if you want.

I can do live streaming of my desktop and anything you want.
Those screenies were taken by me.


Um... dude.

Did you not read my post? I was trying to say that neowin didn't own your screenshot, you did

dhan said,
big.ass.watermark FTW

Beat me to it. Why do sites bother with this crap? They are all just scavengers recycling the same old news that is available to everyone anyway.

Oh wow! EXCLUSIVE screenshots of a search engine!

Oh shut up you lot. Why on earth you're getting all heated up about something that has nothing to do with you I don't know. If EddiePwnsYou has a problem with it (which he does not not appear to), it's up to him. Not you.

Kirkburn said,
Oh shut up you lot. Why on earth you're getting all heated up about something that has nothing to do with you I don't know. If EddiePwnsYou has a problem with it (which he does not not appear to), it's up to him. Not you.


Its stupid that there is a huge watermark across the image. It degrades the quality of the news post. And why? Because some stupid paranoia that other news site will steel the content. (Which is really ironic considering 99.9% of the news posted is just rewording off of other sites).

Kirkburn said,
Oh shut up you lot. Why on earth you're getting all heated up about something that has nothing to do with you I don't know. If EddiePwnsYou has a problem with it (which he does not not appear to), it's up to him. Not you.

Um, excuse me, smartasses, do read:

"Today one of our readers spotted significant changes when he visited Live.com. The interface he was presented with resembles..."

Sites like Neowin like taking pride in the fact they had the news first. It builds repuation and more traffic when a site has exclusive content, and in this case, seeing as this was one of our readers took those screenshots, yes, it counts as us getting exclusive content.

So shut your trap, and appreciate the stuff Neowin gives you, because Neowin does it's best to give you the best and the first.

+1 Neowin, don't listen to these boo-birds.

Shadrack said,
Its stupid that there is a huge watermark across the image. It degrades the quality of the news post. And why? Because some stupid paranoia that other news site will steel the content. (Which is really ironic considering 99.9% of the news posted is just rewording off of other sites).


First of all, Eddie knew from the get-go that I was going to watermark them. He is fine with that. A) Every news site does this when they get an "exclusive". Watermarks are common in images when it comes to being the first outlet to report on the news. If you don't like it, don't read it. Simple as that.

BeLGaRaTh said,
Far too much empty space ...

Empty space?
Excuse me, the screenshots were taken on a widescreen monitor, 1440x900. It's supposed to be small. They are trying to make Live.com look good on low resolutions.

You do not have to make small things to look right on low resolutions - you just need to design websites correctly. But these days with how browsers work with entire page zoom it really doesn't matter too much.

I would say it has empty space because what the hell is supposed to fill that space. Id rather it be empty than filled with useless stuff.

Comapred to Google that has a small logo and small text box for tour search string? What exactly do you want in that empty space, advertising?