Just when you got used to saying Kumo .... Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) has also trademarked "Bing," according to a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In the filing, Microsoft says it plans to use the name for "providing a web site and web-site links to geographic information, map images and trip routing." Hmm. Sounds a lot like what Live Search Maps does now. Microsoft has also registered the Bing.com and Bing.net domain names, news that was reported this morning by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley.
Speculation has been rampant for weeks that Microsoft will rebrand Live Search as Kumo when it relaunches its search engine later this spring. So what's going on? It now appears that Microsoft is considering using different names for its different search properties. Strange, but it could allow the company to pull maps, which has been praised as a service, out of the umbrella of search, which has had trouble finding much love.
By Joseph Tartakoff