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March 03, 2009
Kumo tested as Microsoft's search savior

In a play to recapture its sinking share of search traffic, Microsoft has begun testing a new search service called Kumo, the Japanese word for spider, The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports.

Live Search is still Microsoft's lead offering in the field, but it could be rebranded as Kumo down the line.

There has been ongoing speculation that Microsoft would use Kumo for its search engine ever since the company's ownership of the domain was discovered. Yet, even Microsoft must know that a name change alone won't change its distant third-place standing in search.

For now, the testing is only internal. In a letter inviting colleagues to test the new product, Microsoft's SVP of research and development at the company's online service division, Satya Nadella, wrote that Kumo aims to go beyond search and enable users to achieve specific tasks.

"During the test, features will vary by country, but you'll see results organized in a way that saves you more time," he wrote.


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