BING! New Microsoft search engine soon, née Kumo

It's IT Blogwatch, and bloggers are all fired up about a true Google "killer." Codenamed Kumo, Microsoft is expected to announce its new search engine next week, perhaps renaming it Bing. Not to mention Pod Trumps...

Previously in IT Blogwatch:

Does John Paczkowski have insider knowledge?

The long-awaited upgrade to Microsoft’s search engine will soon make its debut. ... The company is expected to demonstrate it at our D: All Things Digital conference next week.


Code-named “Kumo”, the search engine is a major effort by Microsoft (MSFT) to raise its hand to table stakes in the battle for search market share with Google (GOOG)–something it desperately needs to do.

Danny Sullivan has Friends:

It appears likely to ... launch ... within the next week or two. ... Ballmer might show some of the features of the new Kumo service and potentially finally unveil Microsoft’s new brand. Then [Microsoft's Dr. Qi] Lu might announce that the service is actually live for anyone to use, a week later ... [at the] SMX Advanced search marketing conference.


I doubt Kumo will be the new name. After being used in testing, any “thunder” with that name is kind of gone. ... resolves to a blank page, is registered to Microsoft and uses Microsoft’s name servers.

Andrea James has data. Lots of data:

In the U.S., Google sites held 64.2 percent of the search market in April, a strong lead over Yahoo!, which holds 20.4 percent market share, and Microsoft, which follows with 8.2 percent, according to comScore Inc. data. The Ask Network held 3.8 percent and AOL held 3.4 percent.

Month to month, Google's market share gained a half percentage point, while Microsoft's share lost by .1 percentage points.

But Matt Hartley expects "porcine cosmetics":

Lipstick on a pig, anyone? Microsoft does somethings well. Working with software developers, the Xbox 360, Surface. But unfortunately Search is just not an area Microsoft is getting it. To me, the idea behind Kumo seems completely unneeded.


Say it with me - relevancy. Not more, tired clever presentation of the same old data, but relevancy that has way to actually out do Google is what it will take for MS to have a prayer.

Meanwhile, Paul Bonanos tells us Yahoo!'s not! been! idle!:

The company discussed the latest enhancements to its search technology at an early afternoon “Chalk Talk” event today, displaying a new way of delivering results that’s both simpler and more complex than the old way.


[It] points toward Yahoo’s strategy of integrating data culled from multiple sources into results centering on “web objects,” clustering information around the likely intended result of a user’s query. Searches for athletes or musicians, for example, will deliver results with pictures, streaming music, or fantasy baseball stats, rather than 10 results in the familiar link-and-teaser model. The idea is to anticipate the user’s intent.

Harry McCracken goes all meta on us:

It’s the Web’s biggest straw man, and it keeps getting built up, torn down, then built up again. I speak of the idea that a startup is a potential Google killer.


Its usage consistently follows the same cycle: At first, pundits thoughtfully wonder if a promising new service might be a Google killer…and then, once it’s clear it’s an unlikely scenario, they cockily explain why it won’t come to pass. ...If anyone compares your Internet startup to Google, it’s time to panic–it’s more of a curse than a compliment.

So what's your take? Get involved and leave a comment.

And finally...

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 24 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter or FriendFeed, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email: contact Richi.

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