Microsoft aims to reinvent its search service with Kumo

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Redmond (WA) – Kumo.com, a domain Microsoft acquired last November, is about to go live — at least for Microsoft employees. Microsoft said that it will redirecting “internal” live.com traffic in an effort to test the new site in the coming days. Apparently, Kumo is developed as a more advanced search engine than live.com, which helps users “not just search, but accomplish tasks.”

Microsoft announced the new site and service via an internal email to its employees yesterday, following wide speculation that Kumo.com was about to launch. Satya Nadella, senior VP of research of online services division, wrote that “Kumo.com exists only inside the corporate network, and in order to get enough feedback, [Microsoft] will be redirecting internal live.com traffic over to the test site in the coming days.”

It is unclear how Kumo.com will differ from Live.com, but Nadella’s notes indicate that at least the core of the search will handle search requests differently. “In spite of the progress made by search engines, 40% of queries go unanswered; half of queries are about searchers returning to previous tasks; and 46% of search sessions are longer than 20 minutes,” the executive wrote. “We believe we can provide a better and more useful search experience that helps you not just search but accomplish tasks.”
 
Microsoft acquired the Kumo.com domain from CSC Corporate Domains, which took possession of the domain after semiconductor equipment supplier Schlumberger had abandoned it sometime after 2000. Schlumberger originally became the owner of Kumo.com through the acquisition of Merak Projects, an oil-industry software company, in August 1999.

Going further back in time, Merak Projects acquired the domain through the purchase of Kumo Software Corporation, a former Calgary-based web development firm, in late 1998. The Kumo Software Corporation was the first owner of the domain with records of website activity dating as far back as early 1996.

The name “Kumo” translates to “cloud” or “spider” in Japanese. The Kumo Software Corporation used a black spider on red background in its company logo.

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