Despite Google's still-solid dominance of the online search market, Microsoft hasn't shed any of its search ambitions.

According to, Microsoft will unveil and demonstrate its new 'Kumo' search at the D: All Things Digital conference in California next week.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, is scheduled to present on-stage. According to Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan, an actual launch of Microsoft's new search could take place at the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle in the first week of June and it might bear the name

Whatever the case, the thing everyone really wants to know: will Microsoft's efforts give Google a run for the money or is Microsoft throwing good money after bad trying to compete in the search market?

In March, Sullivan provided some details about what Microsoft's new search engine would contain based upon an internal Microsoft memo and screenshots. His conclusion:

I think it’s safe to say that Kumo isn’t going to emerge as the new consumer search brand. It would be a bad way to kick that off, I’d say, using it first internally this way.

But that doesn't mean there aren't interesting features; there are and Sullivan's post is a good read for those interested in learning what we might expect to see when Microsoft makes its official announcement.

Unfortunately, winning in the search market doesn't just come down to features. Google's brand is gold and until somebody can figure out how to market a new search engine to consumers successfully, great search results and all the features in the world aren't likely to put a dent in Google's position.

Can Microsoft pull off the type of marketing coup that would be required to move the needle? Much to the surprise of some, its Laptop Hunters advertising campaign looks to be working very well, showing that Microsoft can change consumer perception. But search is a different beast since Microsoft isn't simply defending a dominant position.

So here's a question: what would Microsoft have to do or offer to win you over with its new search engine?

Photo credit: MSDPE via Flickr.

Patricio Robles

Published 20 May, 2009 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments (1)



I understand that Google has a 75% Market share in Europe and North America. So whatever Microsoft do I don't think they will make much of a dent in that. How many people bother to switch from their favourite search engine?

about 9 years ago

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