Live Search rebranding – Kumo sneak peek

There’s been rumors rumbling around the web about an impending branding change for Microsoft’s search property and it appears that Kara Swisher has managed to get her hands on a couple of sneak peek screenshots (damn her – in a nice way of course). In a memo from Satya Nadella, Microsoft search head, which managed to find its way into Kara’s inbox we get (in part) the following

From: Satya Nadella
Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 4:18 PM
To: Microsoft – All Employees (QBDG)
Subject: Announcement: Internal Search Test Experience

The Search team needs you. We’ve been working hard to improve our search service and want to share the progress we are making with you. We are launching a new test program called for employees to try and provide feedback. 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. Kumo is the codename we have chosen for the internal test.

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. These and many other learnings suggest that customers often don’t find what they need from search today.

We believe we can provide a better and more useful search experience that helps you not just search but accomplish tasks. During the test, features will vary by country, but you’ll see results organized in a way that saves you more time. An explorer pane on the left side of results pages will give you access to tools that help you with your tasks. Other features like single session history and hover preview help accomplish more in search sessions.

Your Next Search…
To get started, visit or click one of the samples below to see how it’s possible to find the right results more easily:

· Audi S8
· Taylor Swift
Bose Lifestyle 48


Here are the screen shots for the Audi S8 and Bose Lifestyle 48 (click on images for full size):

Click on for larger view

click on for larger view