Amazon’s A9 Drops Most of Its Ambitions; Obits Continue to Roll In

Those trying to get that A9 Instant Reward link on Amazon working don’t have to worry about it anymore. That feature of the search engine is gone, as are the toolbar, search history, mapping, and pretty much all the reasons people were using it. Everyone has been piling on this one since Amazon made an announcement last week that heralded minor new features and downplayed the real news. The PC World headline — A9 Search As We Knew It: Dead! — set the tone. (Search Engine Watch kept up the pace with Amazon’s A9 Becomes, Well, Sort of Nothing.) The Motley Fool said “the site never got much traction” and “a stripped-down version of A9 just isn’t fun.” Some wondered aloud whether the departure of “driving force” Udi Manber to Google earlier this year doomed the project. Also cited was the Microsoft angle: A9 switched from Google to Microsoft to power its search back in May. Pandia has a good round-up of what’s left on A9: an adequate, nicely designed metacrawler with a few Web 2.0 bells and whistles. Looks like Jeff Bezos will continue his search for world domination elsewhere.

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