Microsoft to demo Kumo search next week?

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Microsoft is reportedly getting ready to show off their latest attempt at putting together a search engine capable of stealing away some market share from Google. The new service, dubbed Kumo, has been privately tested for the past few months and could make its official public debut as early as next week at the D: All Things Digital technology conference.

It's still unknown if Microsoft will stick with the Kumo moniker or surprise everyone with a brand new name – though what is certain is that it should bring more than just cosmetic changes to Microsoft's search engine. Among the expected enhancements is the inclusion of semantic search technology, courtesy of last year’s Powerset acquisition, and a single-session search history for quick backtracking.

They’ll have to bring something revolutionary to the table, however, to make any noticeable impact on Google's search stranglehold. Figures released earlier this week by comScore show that Google commands a 64.2% share of the search market, with them being the only major search to gain market share in April, while Yahoo and Microsoft grabbed 20.4 percent and 8.2 percent respectively.

In related news, a new and much-hyped entrant into the search engine market also made its debut this week. Dubbed Wolfram Alpha, the anticipated semantic “answer machine” is geared toward fact-based information and not indexing web pages like Google or Live Search. In a nutshell, Alpha lets you input a query that requires data analysis or computation, and it delivers the results for you, rather than links containing the queried terms.

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