Posted by: Rob Hof on October 3, 2006
Amazon.com is throwing in the towel on at least some features of its A9 search site, a perennial underformer in the search engine wars. Its Yellow Pages, with millions of photos of local streets and businesses that made the feature unique, are gone, and the handy toolbar is no more. So is the ability to keep a history of your searches. And you won’t be able to get a discount on Amazon for using A9 anymore.
Too bad. I liked that photo feature, I really liked the discount, and I used the toolbar, though not as much as Google’s. But the biggest problem for my own usage was A9’s decision to go with Microsoft for the underlying search. Maybe it’s just me, but my searches on A9 take very annoying extra fractions of a second to even come up, and then they’re simply not as relevant as Google’s.
I guess it was never clear what A9 was going to do for Amazon, especially if it wasn’t going to make it on its own. I still think the remaining ability to search in a variety of data sources is appealing, though it doesn’t look like many people are going to take the trouble.