Amazon’s A9 Leaves Google for Microsoft

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This weekend, A9, the search engine of online retail giant Amazon.com has ditched their long-time search technology provider Google for the newer, more svelte Windows Live Search. Microsoft has made Windows Live the centerpiece of their online strategy, and their 2007 budget estimates indicate they’ll be investing nearly $2 billion over the next fiscal year. Previously, Amazon.com had helped Google develop their AdSense advertising platform. As the search engine wars are heating up, Microsoft is putting the pressure on Palo Alto. Amazon’s switch removes a powerful Google ally.

A9 divides search results into categories like books, reference, yellow pages, news, and wikipedia, and the different modules can be switched on and off on-the-fly. A9 search results now display the “powered by Windows Live” logo, web search is called “Web by Live.com,” and Google AdSense ads are nowhere to be found. Microsoft’s Live.com is their premier Windows Live Search service.

For a few days, A9 integrated results from both Google and Windows Live, but “Powered by Google” ended on Sunday as the contract between the two companies expired. A9 also powers the search mechanism for Amazon.com’s retail site. Amazon’s Alexa search also now bears the “Powered by Windows Live” badge.

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