In its latest bid to stop Google from securing an ever-increasing chunk of the online search market, Microsoft might give its search engine a new name and image. At least, that's what TechCrunch reports, citing "a source within the company."
According to TechCrunch, the rebranding will occur early next year, and Microsoft might go with the name "Kumo"—a Japanese word meaning both "cloud" and "spider." That's certainly easier to say and a little catchier than "Live Search," although TechCrunch says Microsoft might retain the Live name for its network of online services. Nothing in set in stone quite yet, though.
In a different report, CNet News points out that Microsoft recently hired Yahoo Search Technology VP Sean Suchter to work on Live Search. The move hints Microsoft is seeking to revamp and improve its own search business—and that it may have given up on a merger with Yahoo despite the departure of CEO Jerry Yang.