Weekend Update, 05.23.09

This Weekend Update is particularly exciting because of all the things happening here at All Things Digital. There is, of course, the upcoming D7 Conference, which promises to be more tech-extravaganza fun than a tweet from @sockington (if only half as cute), but this past week has also seen the launch of our very own iPhone app, meaning that ATD has gone mobile–smart news for your smartphone (we’re still working out potential taglines).

Expect Palm Pre shortages

Microsoft Expected to Debut Updated Search Engine at D: All Things Digital

The long-awaited upgrade to Microsoft’s search engine will soon make its debut. Sources with knowledge of the situation said the company is expected to demonstrate it at our D: All Things Digital conference next week. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is scheduled to appear onstage at the event, a three-day event that hosts top players from the tech and media industries in interviews by All Things Digital Co-executive Editors Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. Code-named “Kumo,” the search engine is Microsoft’s effort to raise its hand to table stakes in the battle for search market share with Google.

Liveblogging the Yahoo Search "Chalk Talk": Kill the 10 Blue Links!

BoomTown liveblogged Yahoo’s “chalk talk” about search earlier today, which was an update of what the Internet giant is up to in the competitive space that includes Google and Microsoft. Presenting at the event were Prabhakar Raghavan, head of Yahoo Labs and Yahoo Search Strategy; Larry Cornett, VP of Consumer Products; and Marc Davis, chief scientist of Yahoo Mobile. In summary: Kill the blue links! Intent! Objects! Open! Mobile! And, most of all, WOO!

Get Ready for a Liveblog of the Yahoo Search "Chalk Talk": No Word Yet on Erasing Google's Market Share

Later today, as BoomTown reported last week, Yahoo is putting on a search party. Well, not a “party” party–although there will apparently be some lunch noshing at the “Search chalk talk,” during which top techies at the Internet giant will talk up the strategy for its more innovative products. At its HQ in Silicon Valley last week, Google put on a similar show-off about its latest search innovations, as both it and Yahoo brace for the launch a major overhaul of the search offering of Microsoft, which is expected soon. I’ll be liveblogging the Yahoo event, which begins at 11:30 a.m. PDT.

This Week, Google Talked Search; Next Week, Yahoo Does–a.k.a. Kumo-FUD

Suddenly, search! Earlier this week, Google put on a show called “Searchology” about its latest search innovations at its Mountain View HQ. And next Tuesday, Yahoo will trot out its search extravaganza, called “Search chalk talk,” during which top search techies will talk up its more innovative products, such as Build Your Own Search (BOSS) and Search Monkey. Could all this search blabbing have anything to do with a certain upcoming launch of a new search offering by a very rich and even more determined giant tech company? As in: Microsoft and whatever it ends up calling its redone search product, code-named Kumo.

Would Microsoft's New Search Name Smell as Sweet if It Were Named After a Cherry or a Soprano?

What’s in a name? Well, a lot, actually, and BoomTown supposes it would be just like those Pacific Northwest types at Microsoft to name the new version of its search service “Bing,” presumably after the cherry that is a big product in the company’s home state. That moniker is one of many being bandied about in a group the software giant could be considering for the big relaunch of its search service, which it has been prepping. But Microsoft should forget the fruity metaphor, also rename its MSN online service “Bada” and use this motto: “Bada Bing, Bada Boom, Notta Bada Algorithm!”

Maybe Lauren's Not Cool Enough to Be a Google User, Either

With Microsoft’s February share of the search market weighing in at a paltry 8.2 percent and declining, the company is going to extraordinary lengths to reverse the public’s indifference to its search offering. It tried loyalty programs. It tried rewards programs. Now, as it prepares to rebrand its search engine under a new name–Kumo–it’s turning to a more proven method: an $80 million to $100 million advertising campaign.

All April Fool's Joking Aside, Omuk Sounds Better Than Kumo!

Microsoft made a funny today with a fake internal memo and screenshot of changes to its search product, which is currently called Kumo. The software giant has jokingly renamed it Omuk, which is Kumo spelled backwards. No kidding, but BoomTown likes it better! Here is the new screenshot and internal memo, sent suspiciously on April Fool’s Day.

New from Google Labs: Google April Fools Overkill

If 2008 (or 2007, 06, 05, 04…) was the year April Fools on the Web jumped the shark, then 2009 was the year it was eaten by it. The Web is so overburdened with pranks this year, it may be that the best April Fools announcement of all proves to be Palm’s, a company promising to deliver real news and not some over-thought hoax. Google alone has posted no fewer than 12 pranks–and none of them match Pigeon Rank in wit.