For most users, Microsoft's Live Search is little more than a default setting on new installations of Internet Explorer. This perception is part of why Microsoft has always struggled to gain market share against Google & Yahoo who both hold the number 1 & 2 positions by a fairly large margin . Microsoft has struggled to come up with a strategy for sometime now, but it seems clear that its new strategy is to shed the past by dropping the Windows Live brand in favour of Kumo .
The timeframe for the redesign has been kept secret so far, but according to a forum posting on Neowin , Microsoft has started a clock in the lobby of its search headquarters that is counting down to June 2nd. This date, coincidentally enough, coincides with a speech being given by the head of Microsoft's online servi ces division at the Search Engine Expo in Seattle. It is here that Dr Qi Lu is expected to formally announce Kumo and demonstrate the upgrades to the search engine. The timing also lines up well with a new ad campaign which is planned for the summer. So far Microsoft hasn't commented on Kumo specifically, and executives have hinted that it is but one of several names being considered at this point.
Early screen shots show several potential improvements that will allow searches to be broken down by relevant categories, making it easier to find information when you search for more general terms. For example; if you search for “Microsoft”, Kumo might give you a category for Windows, Office, Xbox, etc.
What do you think of Kumo as a brand name? What would you call it? And finally, will this get you to use Microsoft Search?