Microsoft has delivered a refreshed beta build of its Windows Live Essentials services and has taken another step forward toward rebranding Live Search.
On December 15, Microsoft made available to the public for download a near-final release candidate of the Live Essentials suite. Live Essentials is a combination of software and services aimed primarily at consumers (as opposed to business users). As others who've downloaded the suite noticed, there is a lot more downloaded to a user's PC than simply the core set of services like Windows Live Messenger, Live Writer, Live Mail, Live Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Toolbar and Family Safety. (The final release of Live Essentials is slated to arrive in the first quarter of 2009.)
LiveSide.Net is running a list of the other components and services that get downloaded automatically as part of the refreshed Live Essentials beta. On that list: SQL Server CE 3.1, the Sync Framework Runtime and Services, Windows Live Call, Windows Live Sync (FolderShare), and Microsoft Application Error Reporting (plus a lot more). Users also are asked whether they want to download Silverlight, the Office Outlook Connector and the Office Live Add-In as part of the Live Essential install. Only thing missing is the kitchen sink!
In other Live-related news, as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer noted over the weekend, Microsoft has obtained the trademark for "Kumo." Kumo is one of a handful of new names for Live Search that the company has been contemplating over the past several months. (Other candidates were "Bing" and "Hook.") My guess? If no search deal ends up happening with Yahoo over the next month or so, Microsoft is on the path to rebranding Live Search with the "Kumo" name.