Microsoft’s Kumo Will Only Come with Minor Tweaks

    March 11, 2009
    Chris Crum

What can you expect from Microsoft’s rebranded search engine? A new name, and not a whole lot else from the sound of it. As you’ve probably read by now, Kumo is the name that is most commonly associated with the search engine, though Microsoft has not officially named it.

You might think Microsoft had some big new search ideas to roll out along with such a rebranding, but reports don’t exactly indicate as much. Microsoft Search Director Stefan Weitz told Silicon Alley Insider the company is only thinking in terms of "small tweaks." Eric Krangel writes:

So what will be new with Kumo? Microsoft plans to "make results human-readable," "reduce clickbacks," and focus on people’s "key tasks" like travel or hyper-local results.


Weitz told SIA that they won’t be putting any real-time search functionality in it, simply because they don’t want to scare people off. I can understand this point to an extent. The masses using Google are not likely going to jump ship at the promise of a feature that not everyone even understands. Google users (for the most part) are fairly comfortable.

But, Microsoft’s Live Search is SO far behind its biggest competitors in market share that offering a feature that is clearly in demand could possibly make people care more.

Search Market Share in February According to Hitwise

That’s not to say that such a feature won’t be integrated into the search engine down the line. I have a feeling we’re going to see such features become standard parts of major search engines as time goes on. But when Microsoft’s new brand emerges, don’t look for any earth shattering changes. Last week, reports of internal Kumo testing came out.