Print 10 comment(s) - last by afkrotch.. on Mar 4 at 8:46 PM

Microsoft is internally testing a new search engine aimed at live search

Looking to better fight back against Google and Yahoo, Microsoft spokespeople have confirmed the company is working on a new online search service that is being internally tested.

Kumo, a Japanese word meaning both "spider" and "cloud," is not available to the public, but it's possible will eventually be opened up to the public.

" exists only inside the corporate network, and in order to get enough feedback we will be redirecting internal traffic over to the test site in the coming days," a memo posted by Satya Nadella said.  "Kumo is the codename we have chosen for the internal test."

A Twitter post and blog entry posted on the The Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital blog first confirmed the existence of, which provides an “access denied” error to anyone outside the Microsoft network.

Although many casual internet users may believe the search engine market is rather stagnant at the moment, Google, Yahoo and others still have a lot of time and resources invested in making search even better.

Google currently dominates 63 percent of the search engine, with Yahoo trailing at 21 percent, and Microsoft rounding out the top three with just 8.5 percent.  It's still possible Microsoft and Yahoo will work out a deal for the Redmond-based company to purchase Yahoo's search business -- but it's an extremely smart move, analysts agree, for Microsoft to move forward on its own.

Furthermore, Microsoft faces competition overseas from Google and home grown search engines -- i.e. Baidu's operations in China.

"We believe we can provide a better and more useful search experience that helps you not just search but accomplish tasks," Nadella continued in the memo.  "An explorer pane on the left side of results pages will give you access to tools that help you with your tasks."

Microsoft will reveal more details about its live search engine in the coming weeks.

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By danz32 on 3/4/2009 9:49:05 AM , Rating: 4
Nadella also said in that email: "In spite of the progress made by search engines, 40 percent of queries go unanswered; half of queries are about searchers returning to previous tasks; and 46 percent of search sessions are longer than 20 minutes. These and many other learnings suggest that customers often don't find what they need from search today. "

I think the issue is, even if they do create a better product than Google (which now, I think they are comparable), the real test is going to be getting people to switch. I mean, you don’t say you are going to search something online, you say “I’ll Google it,” and overcoming that mindset is the true obstacle

RE: Search
By aseb2 on 3/4/2009 10:01:57 AM , Rating: 1
Over 60% of people still use XP on their computers, mostly businesses.

Windows is their bread and butter, why are they focusing on something they cant possibly compete with, just keep shoveling out new versions of windows

RE: Search
By Alareth on 3/4/09, Rating: 0
RE: Search
By CSMR on 3/4/2009 11:07:36 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not so sure. I don't think Live search is currently equal in quality of results or in extra features.
Yes you have to get people to switch but if you can give a noticeably better service then I'd expect heavy internet users to switch pretty fast.

RE: Search
By niva on 3/4/2009 12:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
Google is great, until you get a problem with them. I've had a problem with them for 6+ months now which has only partially been resolved recently.

In the meantime I did turn to both yahoo and live searches and found that they have indeed improved.

Google has now become too big, backlash against them is inevitable, the question is how long it will take.

RE: Search
By mikecel79 on 3/4/2009 12:14:47 PM , Rating: 2
I used to use Google exclusively but I've been giving Microsoft's Live Search some use for a few months now just to see what is out there. I do a lot of searching but most of it is very technical IT topics and for that Google usually gives me better results. But for non-technical searching (stuff like who won an award or something similiar) I find that Live Search gives me the same or slightly better results than Google.

I still think Google has better features though. Viewing my search history from months ago has helped me numerous times to find something again.

RE: Search
By afkrotch on 3/4/2009 8:46:11 PM , Rating: 2
I went with Live search a while ago, but found that Google gave me better results. At the same time, it did give me a whole lot more bogus results than Live Search did. I used Live Search for about a month, but went back to Google.

Maybe I'll try out Live again when Kumo goes live.

Google is like Windows
By BernardP on 3/4/2009 2:06:51 PM , Rating: 3
It's so pervasive that for many people Internet=Google. I personally know (older) low-ability internet users who won't type an address in the address bar. When looking for a web site, they go to Google, type the address in the search box and click on the search result.

RE: Google is like Windows
By bety on 3/4/2009 7:55:25 PM , Rating: 2
um...sort of...except Google (despite flaws) is well engineered and designed. Not a legacy anchor that burdens the PC experience and has held us back for decades now...

By poundsmack on 3/4/2009 12:13:26 PM , Rating: 2
They are just combining Live search with Powerset (that they acquired last year, ). Not that I mind, PowerSet is an amazing set of technology (I know I have been working with it since the private betas).

I am interested to see where all this leads… they are all to close to becoming the next (which I am also sad to say has not improved as much as they had hoped).

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