Live Search PR push in anticipation of “Kumo”

We reported last week on a countdown clock that a Neowin member spotted while at Microsoft, and yesterday Live Search Tech Evangelist Nathan Buggia tweeted that the internal Kumo trial will soon come to an end:


In preparation for what we think will be the launch of “Kumo” (and still nothing final about the name), Live Search is beginning to roll out the PR.  A few days ago Rob Pegoraro of the Washington Post tweeted about an upcoming call with Yusuf Mehdi:


Last night, Microsoft hosted an event at Powerset in San Francisco to talk to journalists about Live Search.  Louis Gray was there, and reported “a conveyed perception that traditional reviews of search engines are flawed in their simplicity, in their context, and are not in depth enough to gain a clear knowledge of what’s complex subject matter”.  As outlined in Powerset Senior Program Manager Mark Johnson’s blog post “How Not to Rate a Search Engine”, the message was that trying a search engine for 3 results were not enough, that users should try Live Search for a week.  Even with that, can Microsoft gain ground on Google?  Of course that was a topic of conversation at the meetup:

At the quick meetup, questions around Microsoft’s potential to dethrone Google were plentiful. We talked about how the once-mighty Alta Vista had once had a significant lead, and even after Google’s debut, it held a corner in image search and language translation, before those too were eroded. Could Microsoft find a position that Google just doesn’t do well? Could Microsoft start to be good enough such that if people tried to use Live Search for a full week, that Google would seem ‘less good’? I even overheard a comment at the event that said in user groups, those surveyed preferred results that displayed a Google logo, even if the results shown were from Live Search.

And tonite, Live Search is hosting an event they’re calling the “Jane & Robot Meetup”:

Are you going to be in the Bay area tomorrow? Do you have a vested interest in search marketing? Know any web developers? Well then, make sure drop in to the Microsoft technology center in Mountain View, CA for a hearty discussion of search marketing hosted Microsoft, with guest speakers: Vanessa Fox, famed creator of Google’s Webmaster Tools, and Sean Suchter, previous VP of Yahoo.

We expect to be hearing quite a bit more about Live Search in the coming days and weeks (even perhaps news on a Yahoo! deal), and even though we’re not in the valley we’ll be at SMX Advanced here in Seattle to keep you posted.