The LiveSide Blog reports a visitor noticed a countdown clock at Building 88, where the Live Search team works at Microsoft’s headquarters. The clock says “Countdown to Kumo,” with the timer ending at 4pm on Tuesday, June 2nd. That coincides with the SMX Advanced show in Seattle, which runs June 2 to 3. Also, Microsoft’s Dr. Qi Lu — who heads the company’s search efforts — will be keynoting at the show.
Kumo is rumored to be a possible new brand for Microsoft’s search product. Internally, Microsoft employees are testing a new version of Microsoft’s search product that uses that name. It’s widely expected that the brand name will change and that this will coincide with the new features being released to the public. However, officially Microsoft has only said that it will “clarify” its search brand but given no set date as to when that will happen or when some of the changes being tested will be seen.
It makes sense to me that they would launch the new search brand at SMX Advanced. There is more discussion on this topic at Techmeme.