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Summary:

[qi:004] After an unusually peaceful weekend, I returned to the world of blogs to find people buzzing about Microsoft, which is apparently going to rebrand its Live Search. The LiveSide Blog reports that company has just taken control of Kumo.com, which means either cloud or spider […]

[qi:004] After an unusually peaceful weekend, I returned to the world of blogs to find people buzzing about Microsoft, which is apparently going to rebrand its Live Search. The LiveSide Blog reports that company has just taken control of Kumo.com, which means either cloud or spider in Japanese. This is likely the first step in the rumored rebranding of Microsoft’s search efforts. It is taking a bit of self-control on my part to not be mean-spirited about this rumored effort. If true, it would be yet another sign of Microsoft’s bumbling efforts when it comes to search.

I am not sure that a new cool-sounding name is going to help much. If Microsoft wants to compete with Google in search, it needs to show that it has a better mousetrap. Thus far it hasn’t really been able to deliver better search results than Google. Whenever I use Microsoft’s search, after trying it a few times, I give up and go back to Google. Don’t get me wrong: Google isn’t perfect, but it somehow gets the job done. If Google’s results are like a vinyl record, then Microsoft’s search delivers the performance of a much-used cassette tape. Microsoft has to get fidelity of its search results up, and not muck around with names, if it wants to prove its mettle.

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  1. Microsoft’s New 4 Letter Word….Kumo : tinyComb Sunday, November 23, 2008

    [...] GigaOM, All about Microsoft, CNET News, Alley Insider, Search Engine Journal and I4U News November 23, 2008 | jason | live search, microsoft, search  | [...]

  2. I’d actually be interested to see some kind of evidence to back that statement up. You may be right, it’s just in my own usage of both services I’ve found Live search to be just about equal with Google’s results now – and would say it passed Yahoo long ago.

    Hmm, if that’s too generous than I would put Google at 95% accuracy, Live at 85% and Yahoo at 70%.

  3. Joe Panettieri Monday, November 24, 2008

    This is part of a bigger problem at Microsoft. The company that pioneered technology branding (Windows, Office) has completely lost its way with Web and online branding. Other than XBox Live, I can’t think of a strong Microsoft brand in the online world…

  4. The problem is that there’s no market appetite for evolutionary improvements in an existing brand. That’s the reason that companies like Black & Decker had to come up w/ premium brands to market their products to professional carpenters, electricians, etc. The reality is that Live.com has 99% IDENTICAL results with Google.com. It’s made vast improvements in the last 2 years. However, the perception of Om is based on historical preferences. If MS wants to capture more eyeballs, they have to build a new brand and link to existing successful brands

  5. lame is right. [sigh]

  6. Microsoft expected to rebrand Live.com to Kumo.com | Webatlantis Monday, November 24, 2008

    [...] Microsoft Search: New Name, Still Lame [...]

  7. Can an $80M Ad Campaign Help Microsoft Search? Monday, May 25, 2009

    [...] Om Malik | Monday, May 25, 2009 | 8:30 PM PT | 0 comments Microsoft is going to spend $80 million on an advertising campaign to support its new search effort, rumored to be called Bing, as the company once again takes on deeply entrenched rivals Google and Yahoo. AdAge magazine reports that the campaign could eventually hit $100 million. There was some talk that Microsoft would rename its search effort Kumo. [...]

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