Is Microsoft Going to Make Waves in Search This Year?

    March 11, 2009
    Chris Crum

In a story we covered earlier this month, John Battelle accidentally typed into his address bar only to find a domain squatter. This of course led to speculation that Microsoft was close to rebranding its Live Search. They clearly were not too concerned about getting that domain (it’s still the same a couple weeks later).

This was not the first we had heard about Live Search’s possible rebranding. Back in November, it was discovered that was moved from the registrar to Microsoft and began pointing to an internal Microsoft test site. Kumo means "cloud" or "spider" in Japanese.

Battelle recently made a bold prediction in an exclusive interview with WebProNews (below) that "Microsoft will gain at least five points of search share in 2009, perhaps as much as 10."

There has been a lot of chatter about Microsoft and Yahoo making a deal. This would certainly help such a prediction. Microsoft saw its share rise 1.4% between December and January, boosting it from 9.8% to 11.2% according to Nielsen Online’s January search share rankings for the U.S. It also climbed 0.12 points in a report from France-based AT Internet Institute.

It’s a bit premature to visualize Google shaking in its boots, but things look a bit brighter for Microsoft’s search efforts than they have in a while. All we can do is sit back and watch what happens.

Update: Nathan Buggia of Microsoft Live Search also talks about some new things going on with the search engine (as well as some tips for marketers and developers to work better together) in a recent interview with Abby Johnson: