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Will Microsoft spin its way into the cloud with Kumo?

Windows Live Search jumps on fluffy bandwagon

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Microsoft has sown confusion across the blogosphere after it registered the domain name Kumo.com and redirected it to several Windows Live servers late last week.

The firm has scored big ink over the weekend with bloggers speculating what the registration means.

Many have concluded that Microsoft must be rebranding its little-used Live Search. However, the software giant is keeping silent on the matter, at least for now.

According to WHOIS, Redmond re-routed Kumo.com to its NS.USWEST.SEARCH.LIVE.COM, NS.USEAST.SEARCH.LIVE.COM and NS.ANYCAST.SEARCH.LIVE.COM servers last Thursday.

The word Kumo can mean spider or cloud in Japanese, so the marketing logic behind the name – if Microsoft has indeed adopted it to replace Windows Live – is obvious.

MS has spent much of the year chasing the cloud and pushing its software+services gambit.

Microsoft will argue that it is at least making the right noises, even though it has begun worrying some of its partners as the company ramps up its web-based assault.

In July MS bought Silicon Valley startup Powerset for $100m. Since then it has been integrating the outfit's semantic internet search technology into its own Live Search product.

But the firm has had a bumpy year in the internet game, where it’s still struggling to shoehorn its way into dominant Google territory. It has often given the impression of flailing around and looking up at the (Azure) sky for divine inspiration. ®

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