Microsoft unveils, then shutters Kumo.

What makes a great search engine? The first rule apparently, is that it must have fewer letters than "Google."

Last year brought Cuil, and now Microsoft presentes Kumo. Or is it pronounced Kumo? (See? You don't know either.)

Kumo is named for the little boy in the Japanese anime, "My Clumsy Evil Fighting Sister from the Future is a Cat Robot."

But on the first rule, Microsoft is a success. Kumo definitely has fewer letters than Google. But it's still two syllables, so it's not any easier to say.

Will anyone say, "Just Kumo it"? I don't think so. "Come on, Kumo!" No, not unless they're directing a porno.

What will it take for Microsoft to compete with Google? Is Kumo a better search engine? Who cares?

Kumo has already been used as the name of a Web tool: I wonder if anyone at Microsoft knows that?

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