Bing! Microsoft to rename search engine yet again?

Redmond (WA) – Microsoft’s journey to find a sticky name for its Internet search service has already been an odyssey through branding land and now it seems that the company is dropping the name for its highly anticipated next-generation search service, which has been developed under the name Kumo. According to Advertising Age, Microsoft plans to launch the new site as “Bing”, supported by a huge advertising campaign aimed to finally gain back market share.

The next version of Live Search, formerly Windows Live Search and MSN Search, apparently will not be called Kumo. If Advertising Age is right, then Microsoft has decided against the creepy Kumo brand and now focuses on a new “Bing” brand. To make sure you don’t miss the announcement of the search engine, the company apparently has allocated between $80 and $100 million for a launch campaign, which is more than a quarter of Microsoft’s entire 2008 advertising budget ($361 million), according to ad age.

The campaign reportedly will not directly attack Google, but is focused on the traditional thought that search isn’t really working as well as it should. Raising doubt about search efficiency appears to be the key strategy to ask consumers to switch from Google to Bing. 

Of course, given Google’s perception and market reach, that seems to be rather unlikely at this point and Microsoft will need a miracle to dent Google’s market share. As of April, Google holds a 64.0% share in U.S. searches – and ran more than 5.5 billion searches during the month, according to Nielsen Netratings. Yahoo followed with a share of 16.3% (1.4 billion). Microsoft’s Live Search came in third with 9.9% and 853 million searches.

Both Microsoft and Google outgrew the overall market growth (4.4%) with an increase of 7.2% and 7.8%, respectively. Yahoo’s decline continued in April: The firm’s number of seraches dropped by 2.8% year over year, Nielsen said.