Web is afire with speculation Microsoft will rebrand Windows Live

24 Nov 2008

Kumo, the Japanese word for spider or cloud, is the one little word that has the web afire today, as speculation mounts that it could be Microsoft’s new branding for Windows Live.

The storm began after bloggers realised that Microsoft last week registered the domain name Kumo.com, and redirected it to a number of Windows Live servers.

Microsoft so far has refused to add fuel to the fire, and its silence alone speaks volumes.

The Live Search aspect of the company’s web strategy has been overshadowed by the obvious success of Google.

But in recent weeks, Microsoft has been realigning its web strategy to make Windows Live a core hub for internet use via PCs, phones and other devices.

The strategy includes deals with more than 50 third-party software players – including Twitter, Flickr and WordPress – to make it easier for users to share photos, update profiles, write reviews and automatically publish these activities to their Windows Live network.

Microsoft fuelled speculation around Kumo.com when it re-routed the domain to its NS.USWEST.SEARCH.LIVE.COM, NS.USEAST.SEARCH.LIVE.COM and NS.ANYCAST.SEARCH.LIVE.COM servers late last week.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years