Microsoft suddenly took control of the Kumo.com domain (Kumo means “cloud” or “spider” in Japanese.) that was moved from the registrar to Microsoft, and is now pointing to an internal Microsoft test site (employees only). You can test this out at home by firing up the command prompt (type “cmd” in the Vista start box) and then type “tracert kumo.com”. You’ll see the route to the end location go through a few msn.com servers, and then suddenly you’ll notice all those asterisks, which is where Kumo.com becomes available for internal use only.
While Microsoft employees have admitted publicly that there are branding issues around Live Search, we’re not quite ready to stick our heads above the parapet and say that Kumo will be the new brand name to be announced in a 2009 update.