We'd heard back in August that “Windows Live” would be getting a rebrand. We've suggested many-a-time here that “Live” is confusing between search, desktop products, mobile products, cloud services, consumer services, Office, and more. Yes, all those things need to be tied together, but there's striations between the products where Live does and doesn't apply, to the point where “Live” is to “defining term” what “Clippy” is to “Help tool.” Which is to say -- not a bad way to brand stuff on paper, but in practice hopelessly annoying.
We're about to plunge into yet another tearful tirade about how Microsoft's cloud services are actually really awesome, better than MobileMe and BlackBerry Internet Service even, but nobody knows about it because they have to hunt down Windows Live for Windows Mobile, Live Search for Windows Mobile, Live Mesh for Windows Mobile, and then patch them all together. We're about to do that, but it looks like Microsoft may have settled on one of the names conjectured in that August post: Kumo, which can mean either “cloud” or “spider” in Japanese depending on which Kanji characters you use. Seems like the perfect term to apply to a set of cloud services with a side of search.
LiveSide reports that Microsoft took control of Kumo.com. TechCrunch believes that Kumo will apply to search and Live will be cloud services and social networking. CNet joins both in emphasizing that no decision appears to be fully set in stone yet.
Us, we're going to go stare in a mirror and repeat “Live Services” three times and see what comes out.