The month before Microsoft's expected rollout of its "Kumo" search release, the company continued to stagnate in terms of its search share.
According to comScore's April data (released on May 18) for searches conducted from U.S. sites, Google sites cumulatively grew their U.S. share .5 percent, to 64.2 percent. Yahoo and Microsoft sites both lost .1 percent share, resulting in Yahoo sites with 20.4 percent and Microsoft sites with 8.2 percent share.
(The total number of core searches conducted by Americans was up 3 percent from March, to 14.8 billion core searches, according to Comscore.)
LiveSide notes that the news isn't completely grim in Microsoft search land and points to new data from Neilsen Online. Neilsen's data shows that in the product search category, Live Shopping Search's audience grew 615 percent from April 2008 to April 2009. The Live Search Cashback program is considered one of the main reasons for the growth.
Nonetheless, Kumo can arrive none too soon for the Softies. Most company watchers are expecting its launch in early June. A number of Live Search users outside of Microsoft have been reporting seeing Kumo's functionality and look-and-feel appear (and disappear) while they've been conducting their queries. Still no word, though, on what will be the final name of the updated search engine. Bing and Kumo both are said to still be in the running....