Tag Archives | Kumo

Microsoft Advertising Its Way to Top of Search

Well, I’m not sure why it thinks it would work any different this time, but Microsoft at it again trying to advertise its way to better search marketshare with the search engine supposedly now known as Bing (previously known as Kumo). Altogether, about $80 to $100 million will be spent to promote the latest reboot, Advertising Age is reporting.

Microsoft will ask consumers to rethink what search is. Instead of directly going after its competitors, it will challenge consumers to think if search really does work as well as they thought.

If it does go as far as reports claim, it would be the largest ad campaign for any search product yet. You’d have to think that the saturation–ads will appear online, on TV and radio, and in the print–would at least cause a good portion of consumers to at least give the new search contender a look.

Consumers are generally happy with their searches. About two-thirds of all users are satisfied with search performance, although four in 10 searches require refinement to get what the user wants.

Bing’s (or Kumo, whatever) challenge if it is going to take on Google in this manner is to eliminate the need for refinement. So far from what we’re hearing it seems that it does seem to answer this to some extent, but it’s not a massive difference.


More About Microsoft's Kumo Search Engine, Sort of

Kumo LogoLiveSide.net has a screenshot of the home page of “Kumo,” the next-generation Microsoft search engine which is currently in internal use at the company, and which may or may not be called Kumo when it goes public. It looks a lot like the current Live Search home page, which is dominated by a big striking photograph with hotspots that take you to search results relating to the image. The LiveSide image jibes with my only personal exposure to Kumo, which happened last week when I met with a Microsoft exec who had it loaded up in his browser; there, too, it had the Live Search-style photo teaser.

We still don’t know much about Kumo, though–and with search engines even more than most things in the world of tech, it’s hard to form even preliminary impressions without a fair amount of hands-on time. The bottom line with Kumo or any other would-be Googlekiller will ultimately be whether it helps you find relevant information more quickly than Google. Which would require that it make dramatic strides over Live Search, which usually leaves me less than completely satisfied when I use it. (I’m willing to confront the possibility that I’m so comfortable with Google that its style of results, and my understanding of how to form queries that will get me what I want, influence my impression of other search engines–but even taking that into account, Live Search results usually feel less far smart and refined than Google ones. To me, at least.)

Can we all agree that everyone involved would be best served if the weird tango between Microsoft and Yahoo ended soon–either with a breakup or with marriage? Kumo may be a Japanese word for cloud, but until the question of whether Microsoft and Yahoo will work together on search is resolved, there’s a little gloomy raincloud lurking above Microsoft’s homegrown search efforts, such as Kumo. Or whatever it ends up being called.