Microsoft Search: New Name, Still Lame

[qi:004] After an unusually peaceful weekend, I returned to the world of blogs to find people buzzing about Microsoft (s MSFT), which is apparently going to rebrand its Live Search. The LiveSide Blog reports that company has just taken control of Kumo.com, which means either cloud or spider in Japanese. This is likely the first step in the rumored rebranding of Microsoft’s search efforts. It is taking a bit of self-control on my part to not be mean-spirited about this rumored effort. If true, it would be yet another sign of Microsoft’s bumbling efforts when it comes to search.
I am not sure that a new cool-sounding name is going to help much. If Microsoft wants to compete with Google (s GOOG) in search, it needs to show that it has a better mousetrap. Thus far it hasn’t really been able to deliver better search results than Google. Whenever I use Microsoft’s search, after trying it a few times, I give up and go back to Google. Don’t get me wrong: Google isn’t perfect, but it somehow gets the job done. If Google’s results are like a vinyl record, then Microsoft’s search delivers the performance of a much-used cassette tape. Microsoft has to get fidelity of its search results up, and not muck around with names, if it wants to prove its mettle.

Microsoft Turns To Desktop To Rescue Search

Microsoft Corp today announced that HP would embed its Live Search technology on all consumer PCs sold by the Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer company in the United States and Canada, starting January 2009. Live Search is also going to be the default search engine in all browsers on HP’s web site. Funnily, the big announcement merited only a tiny press release.

So, why is this a big deal? Because it shows that Microsoft is using its time-tested strategy of leveraging its desktop monopoly and big money to win in a market where it has been a late starter.

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