Microsoft To Spend $100 Million On 'Kumo' (Or Whatever)

Microsoft (MSFT) still hasn’t settled on a name for its new, improved search engine yet. For now they’re calling it “Kumo” internally. But once a decision is reached, the company will put $100 million dollars worth of marketing behind the new brand, AdAge reports.

Smart move. Microsoft is promising all sorts of technical improvements to its search, and it’s hiring every Yahoo (YHOO) search engineer it can to help make it happen. But fighting Google (GOOG) on search quality will be a long, difficult road Microsoft may never win. Rebranding the current, awfully named “Microsoft Live Search” is the low-hanging fruit of the rehabilitation of Microsoft online.

The company will reportedly use agency JWT, part of WPP, to handle the campaign. We hope it works out. Microsoft has had a few high-profile misses in its marketing efforts. (Jerry Seinfeld? “The Mojave Experiment”?) The company’s recent well-received Windows campaign, starring “just not cool enough to be a Mac person” actress Lauren De Long, was handled by Crispin Porter & Bogusky.

With Microsoft putting $100 million behind a rebrand, we’re still curious to see just what the new name and URL of Microsoft search will be. Most SAI readers don’t like the name “Kumo,” and neither does company CEO Steve Ballmer. But Microsoft seems aware of the name problem — in one of the few funny April’s Fools Day posts we saw yesterday, the Kumo team joked their new brand would be “MSN Windows Live Search on [email protected]

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