The power of a name change


Microsoft, the laughing-stock of the browser/open source software community, finally came out with a new search engine. To those who follow tech news and trends, this isn’t exactly surprising as the story has been on for a while now – as far back as November 2008.

When TechCrunch covered the story about the rebrand (and the project codename: Kumo), readers scoffed at what seemingly looked like Microsoft trying to beat a dead horse. A few examples:

Changing name is an interesting idea but does NOTHING to solve their fundamental problem, the lack of vision in Search to begin with. Google has its flaws, paying people to search and other marketing ploys do nothing to help get users using your platform over the long run. This is nothing but a stunt that will lead them to loose even more market share (even if they do buy Yahoo). - Jon

Most of Microsoft’s users are the 35+ year-old that sit in cubicles and freaked out when Hotmail changed its interface. These people fear change, forcing them into something new is just begging them to try something else. - John

Changing its name so that people switch to Microsoft services (search) from google is ridiculous.

The answer lies in the search results shown by either Live/Kumo or google. If Microsoft would really like people to use its services

And having a name like “Kumo” (which doesn’t make sense until i google it) doesn’t help either - Aman

Why exactly am I reposting these comments? Because these commenters predicted the complete opposite of what is happened yesterday. The responses on TechCrunch’s post yesterday showed that not only did people find the results a bit more relevant than Google’s results, but that many of TC’s readers will now use Bing as their primary search engine. Yes, Bing is Kumo in a live form. :smirk:

This brings me to the very reason behind this article. It’s a pity now redirects to I actually wanted to prove how similar Bing’s results are to Live’s. My point is the fact that people are all over Bing’s search results relevance means they never actually tried out Live. The single reason for them trying out Bing is because Microsoft was smart enough to give a new name and a new face.

Sure, they threw in a slew of new features such as Bing-411, better image & video search, etc. Everyone would agree that no one would bother about those new features if not for the name change.


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