An email sent by Satya Nadella, Senior Vice President, Research and Development at Microsoft's Online Services Division, shed more light on Kumo, one of the firm's most exciting projects in 2009.
Nadella sent an email to Microsoft employees, referring to an internal testing programme for Kumo, which is essentially a rebranded version of Live search and Cnet's Ina Fried managed to get the text as well as a single screenshot.
Kumo, which means both spider or cloud in Japanese, exists only internally for now and, according to Microsoft, should help users reduce the high percentage of unanswered queries that's generated by other search engines.
The updated Live.com is expected to give users easy access to tools that will help them with their tasks. Other features, like single session history and hover preview, help them accomplish more in search sessions.
The search engine results page dynamically generates associated tabs (on the left hand side) that change according to the search terms. For example, looking for a singer brings up tabs about lyrics and songs while looking for a speaker system changes the tabs to "manual", "price", "repair".
Kumo also allows you to easily access your history and posts the related searches next to the top results. Furthermore, MediaPost news reports that Kumo's features will vary according to the territory although the main ones like Single Session history and hover preview will remain.
Microsoft may be mulling plans to consolidate both MSN Search and Live Search under the same umbrella although nothing has been confirmed at this point.
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Microsoft has been lagging behind Yahoo and Google for a few years now and it is seems that they are having to taken on plan B. Plan A, buying Yahoo outright, did not work as well as they expected. Kumo, which in time will offer features from Powerset, may not be enough for Microsoft to catch up with the two other giants. Microsoft has to do something bold and radical.
(Windows IT Pro)