Microsoft Live Search to Be Rebranded?

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Rumors have been flying around about a possible rebranding of Microsoft’s search engine from Live Search to a few other names that Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet reported on. Names being tossed around include: Bing, Hook, and Kumo (which means "cloud" or "spider" in Japanese).

Foley went after the public opinion on which one would be best and the results so far are as follows:

Live Search Poll

At this point, it’s looking like Komo’s going to be the one if they do in fact rebrand. Liveside.net reports:

Fast forward to this week and Microsoft suddenly showed its hand. Control of the Kumo.com domain was moved from the registrar to Microsoft, and is now pointing to an internal Microsoft test site (employees only).

You can test this out at home by firing up the command prompt (type “cmd” in the Vista start box) and then type “tracert kumo.com”. You’ll see the route to the end location go through a few msn.com servers, and then suddenly you’ll notice all those asterisks, which is where Kumo.com becomes available for internal use only.

Based on Foley’s poll results and what seems to be popular opinion around the blogosphere, the brand isn’t really Microsoft’s problem. It’s the product. "If Google’s results are like a vinyl record, then Microsoft’s search delivers the performance of a much-used cassette tape," writes Om Malik at GigaOm for example.

This is the kind of mentality that leaves many hopeful that Microsoft and Yahoo will still manage to put together a deal in which the two forces combine to finally give Google a run for its money. That is a scenario can still be filed under wishful thinking as Steve Ballmer has repeatedly said that it’s not in the cards, although the recent departure of Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang may shuffle the deck a bit.

Microsoft Live Search to Be Rebranded?
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