Microsoft is running an internal test of an update to its Live Search, but is not ready to confirm that its search engine will be rebranded as Kumo.

Respected Microsoft commentator Ina Fried of CNet was told by Microsoft that, at this point: "Kumo is the name of an internal test environment we are launching to a small sampling of employees."

The rumour that Kumo – which translates as both cloud and spider – would be the new brand for Live have been circulating since November of last year.

Ballmer

Just last week Steve Ballmer publicly talked about Microsoft's presence in the search market, insisting that the company need to keep battling for market share against the behemoth that is Google.

"Some people say 'why don't you just give up?', said Ballmer. "This is a huge opportunity – if you give up then you don't get back in the game

"We have good ideas; this is not going to change quickly but it's a market that deserves to have a few creative teams innovating.

"We've got great talent in this area and a great opportunity to really differentiate but we have incredible odds [against us].

Strategy

"What's our strategy? We've got to make fast releases quickly. This is product where we're turning new releases every six to nine months.

"We have another significant release this spring and we're really pushing to get relevance in our algorithmic results."

With spring already on the way, it could well be that Kumo will be that significant release, although it seems that Microsoft will not confirm any re-brand until it is good and ready.

UPDATE

The All Things Digital blog at the Wall Street Journal site has emails from within Microsoft talking about the Kumo internal test.