Liveside.net is reporting that Microsoft has just taken control of the domain name Kumo.com and the site is pointing to an internal Microsoft test site which can be accessed only by Microsoft employees. The name Kumo which literally translates to “cloud” or “spider” was among the names which came out on a post by Mary Jo Foley about Microsoft’s plan of rebranding Live Search.
I could understand Microsoft’s desire to rebrand Live Search as it has undergone so many name changes in the past years, that it became pretty confusing already as to what its search engine is called really. I, for one gets confused most of the time. Although, it’s easily accessible when you just type in Live.com on your browser’s address bar. But for name recall and for writing purposes, that’s where the confusion comes in really.
But then, if Microsoft is really seriously considering Kumo as the new branding of its Live Search product, would it really help their search engine at all? The problem with Live Search may not be with its branding but with other aspects of a search engine per se. Of course both Google and Yahoo have an advantage when it comes to name recall and effective branding of their search engine. In fact, they were able to establish their name as a form of action that denotes “search”.
Can Kumo establish the same thing? I’d rather not say the negative as it is too early to tell. Let’s see when Microsoft re-launch its search engine with a new branding sometime next year.