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Amazon dumps Google for Microsoft

April 30, 2006

Search boxes are extremely valuable real estate, as the recent bidding war to provide search for AOL showed. Google managed to hold on to the AOL account, which provides the search giant with a hefty chunk of its revenues. Today, however, Google lost a big one. Amazon.com quietly switched from using Google's search engine to using Microsoft's new Windows Live engine as the provider of results (and, one assumes, search-based ads) for both its A9 search service and its Alexa site-ranking service. As Google has moved deeper into shopping services and book sales, it's been on a collision course with Amazon. But my guess is that money was probably more important than strategy in this decision. The big question: What did Microsoft pay, and is this part of a larger deal? No word yet from the principals.

UPDATE: Interestingly, in looking at the results page of an A9 search, I just noticed that while the web results say "Search results provided by Windows Live," the image results still say "Search results enhanced by Google." A menage a trois?


On my A9 searches, I still get Google search in Firefox, but I get Windows Live in IE. Maybe Windows Live wasn't ready for Firefox yet.

Posted by: Jim Finke at April 30, 2006 06:43 PM

Actually in A9 you can now choose "web by Google" as well as "Web by Live.com". If you want to compare the two engines create a column for each and run a query...

Posted by: Werner [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 30, 2006 07:13 PM

Werner, That's odd. I only get Windows Live results from A9, without a Google option. Also, the image search option has now disappeared. This is with Safari and Firefox for Mac. Nick

Posted by: Nick Carr at April 30, 2006 09:35 PM

No more sir. You may not choose google web search anymore on a9.com.

Image search is gone because perhaps a9 had integrated google technology in image search. I would say wait for sometime and Live image search will show up there.

The only thing by google they have is their sponsored link search. In the pull down menu select add/remove options. Search for google. You will get only sponsored link search from google. select it. It will add only an empty column from google. That means all ties with google are broken.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 1, 2006 12:00 AM

Darn, that went away fast. I kind-of enjoyed having them side-by-side :-).

Posted by: Werner [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2006 01:51 AM

Why is it for years we all eagerly waited a company to challenge Microsoft who dominated the world so effectively for the majority of the computer age?

Why is it then when one arrives, and one with a nice friendly image do we then start to panic, close ranks and start debating its downfall?

I think nick's question "What did Microsoft pay, and is this part of a larger deal?" hits the nail on the head. The corporate wheels are at work here and the fact that Google refuse to get drawn in, in my opinion is commendable. OK they loose out in the short term, but longer term my money is on the Google giant.

It is laughable that Microsoft now rallies support from the companies it used to ignore. They are running scared, and the have good reason.

Sergey Brin one of the Google founders wrote, "In general, I think we're doing a very good job of staying true to our mission. But with increasing scrutiny there will always be people that disagree with one specific element or another and we won't always agree with everyone."

Recently Microsoft announced it is boosting its spending by $2billion, which comes shortly after Google's talk about increasing theirs by $1.5billion.

Microsoft's concerns centre around Google's potential to become a kind of operating system of the Internet in the same way that Windows is the dominant operating system of personal computing.

It will be interesting when the gloves come off.

Posted by: Lawrence Jones at May 13, 2006 09:17 AM

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