There has also been a fair amount of speculation around the use of the Kumo brand and URL, and whether this means that we are rebranding Live Search. We’re using the Kumo brand and URL for this test experience to make sure employees understand they’re in a test experience. We believe this will encourage more active feedback. As for rebranding, it’s something we’re still considering.
Mike Nichols who is is General Manager of Live Search also writes that Kumo is solely a prototype of their ‘new search engine’ that they have decided to open to their employees only. This sort of internal testing is pretty common at Microsoft before they release a product publicly.
As you can see in the screen shot above, the new engine does look a bit different from Live search and has a few new features like – Images withing results, Related search queries in the sidebar, history. grouping of search results etc.
I can’t wait to test out this engine myself! Hopefully Live search will open Kumo for public beta testing soon.