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Microsoft wraps Live Search in chicken and breadcrumbs

Redmond prays Kiev contents will be hot

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Microsoft has cranked up the PR machine by releasing a little more detail about the forthcoming revamp of its Google-wannabe Live Search brand.

The software vendor revealed to the Wall Street Journal yesterday that its search engine re-launch project carried the code name of Kiev.

It’s understood that Microsoft has hired London-based ad agency JWT to head up an $100m ad campaign to push its rebranded search engine, although the company has declined to comment on the alleged deal.

Up to now, Microsoft has struggled to pull in new users for its service, in part because of people failing to distinguish Live Search from the firm's other online properties.

There are several names that appear to be in the running for Redmond’s revamp of its cumbersome Live Search brand, including Kumo and, more recently, Bing.

Microsoft has registered .com and .net domains for both monikers and pointed its web servers at them too, according to the Whois database.

The company’s senior online audience biz veep Yusuf Mehdi told the WSJ that Microsoft was readying its campaign to woo users away from Google’s ubiquitous search engine.

However, Mehdi remained quiet on the finer details of the Kiev project. Instead he confirmed that Microsoft has been testing its new search engine in-house under the Kumo tag.

But the name game remains a mystery and no one is sure what way Redmond will jump with the re-brand, which is expected to launch in June. ®

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