We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Microsoft to replace Windows Live with Kumo

Rumours suggest new software brand planned

Microsoft may be turning Kumo, the expected new name for Live Search, into a brand of software.

The software giant filled a trademark application for the name on December 4. The application is to trademark a host of software and services beyond a search engine, including advertising and telecommunications services, education, training, entertainment and the design and development of computer hardware and services.

According to Whois.Net, Microsoft has registered the kumo.com domain, and through CSC, a company that manages domain names for corporations, also has registered related domains that indicate the Kumo name could be used for other services. Those domains include: www.kumosearch.com, www.kumopics.com, www.kumowiki.com, www.kumogroups.com and www.kumotravel.com.

Kumo is a Japanese word that can be used to mean 'cloud', 'ceiling' or 'sea spider' among other things, according to an online Japanese-to-English translation service.

The trademark application and various domain registrations could mean Microsoft plans to drop the Windows Live and Live Search brands, which are fairly new in and of themselves. Microsoft only gave its online services the 'Windows Live' moniker at the end of 2005, later dropping 'Windows' for its search engine but keeping it for other services and web-based client applications.

Visit Broadband Advisor for the latest internet news, reviews, tips & tricks - and to take advantage of PC Advisor's unique, independent Broadband Speed Tester

However, Matt Rosoff, analyst with Directions on Microsoft, said that it is unlikely Microsoft would drop the Windows Live brand entirely, since the Windows Live-branded services and client applications, such as Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Hotmail, are part of the Windows client group at the company.

"It would be weird to me that they would rename everything," he said. "They're probably going to keep the Windows Live brand around and make it specifically for things that Microsoft think can improve Windows or take Windows-like functionality online - those thick clients that connect to services."

Still, for its search engine, Kumo makes sense, Rosoff said. And while another name change might be confusing to some who already are aware of Microsoft's search engine, it actually might help the company because the bulk of average web users still don't even know about Microsoft Live Search, he said.

"Search has had a lot of branding problems - that's one reason people aren't even aware Microsoft has a search engine, and if they are they're not aware of where to find it," Rosoff said. Renaming it yet again "won't hurt them and maybe help them," he said.

Microsoft confirmed through its PR agency that it has trademarked the Kumo name, but would not disclose anything further about its plans to use it.

See also: Microsoft plans emergency Internet Explorer patch


IDG UK Sites

iPad Air 2 release date, price, specs, new features: world's thinnest tablet also gets Touch ID

IDG UK Sites

Why you shouldn't buy the iPad mini 3: No wonder Apple gave it 10 seconds of stage time

IDG UK Sites

Will Photoshop work with Yosemite? And will Illustrator, After Effects, Premiere Pro or the other A?......

IDG UK Sites

iMac Retina 5K first look review: hands on with the new Retina iMac (Updated)