Microsoft intends to rebrand its Live Search service as Kumo next year, according to sources. Apparently, the software giant acquired the kumo.com domain name last week and since then has been busy snapping up all the other variants such as .net, .jp, .fr, .ru and so on.

Also being reported as a sign that Microsoft is taking measures to boost its search engine is the fact that it has recently hired Sean Suchter, currently Yahoo’s vice president of search technology. Despite Microsoft’s recent efforts to encourage Live.com usage, which include actually paying users, their service seems to have reached a dead end and hasn’t grown in the past few months. Whether or not these latest moves will improve the company’s competitiveness with the other leading search engines remains to be seen.