MSN QnA, Microsoft’s rival to Yahoo Answers, is shutting down. A spokeswoman says MSN QnA is being closed “as part of our overall investment in updating and re-aligning our online services to provide customers with new ways to share their opinions and ideas.” It’s the latest MSN-branded service to be cut. Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) announced it was closing its MSN Encarta site in late March. But as recently as mid-February, Microsoft still seemed dedicated to the QnA service, rebranding it as MSN QnA from Live QnA and moving into the MSN organization.
The answers market has been tough for big companies to break into, with the notable exception of Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO). Microsoft launched QnA in August 2006, four months before Google (NSDQ: GOOG) decided to shut down Google Answers, which charged users to have their questions answered. In its three years in existence, Microsoft’s QnA appears to have attracted about 3 million questions. Yahoo Answers measures itself not by questions but by answers — it has attracted more than 750 million answers — but it’s clear that Yahoo is far more popular. LiveSide first reported the news Monday.