Windows Live Search to be rebranded Kumo?

Microsoft has taken control of the domain name, according to reports, and directing internal traffic to the test site. In Japanese, the word means "cloud" or "spider."

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Microsoft is expected to rebrand and relaunch its Windows Live Search, according to various reports.

There have been tremors on the Web that Microsoft was considering a new brand name for Live Search, and now the site LiveSide is reporting that Microsoft has taken control of the domain name Kumo.com and is directing internal traffic to it as a test site.

The rebranded site is expected to launch early next year, according to a TechCrunch report that cited a source within the company. Very few people in the company are privy to the chosen name of the new brand, and it could still change, TechCrunch said.

And while this doesn't mean that Microsoft is definitely going to adopt Kumo as its new search brand, taken together, it's pretty clear evidence that Microsoft has decided to focus on revitalizing its own search effort over its former ambitions for Yahoo's search business.

Microsoft's recent move to acquire Yahoo search talent is another sign that it is beefing up its own search muscle. Microsoft confirmed on Thursday that it had hired Yahoo search executive Sean Suchter to be general manager of its Silicon Valley Search Technology Center, "working on Live Search."

Kumo--a Japanese word that means "cloud" or "spider"--is certainly sexier than Windows Live Search, but is it enough to jump-start Microsoft's search effort?