A9 goes 'soft
May 14, 2006 11:42 AM   Subscribe

A9 gets MS? Amazon's search tool / portal, formerly powered by Google, is now using Microsoft's Windows Live search service. I first noticed when my image results went missing (which sucks, but I still use it for the incentive program). Does this mean MS is shifting out of the half-assery phase of its search strategy? What happens when its adCenter keyword program opens up? [commentary]
posted by grobstein (8 comments total)
AdCenter is open now.
posted by sellout at 12:36 PM on May 14, 2006

I noticed this a week or so ago. You couldn't be more right: the biggest loss was the image search. The incentive program is nice, but so far Windows Live seems a little dead without an attendant image search (and searching the other possible "columns" for a9 doesn't produce a viable image search comparable to Google's).
posted by josephtate at 1:58 PM on May 14, 2006

Open it does seem to be: AdCenter.
posted by josephtate at 2:04 PM on May 14, 2006

I'm biased because I helped build the automation/operations for MSN Search (I'm no longer at MS), but MSN Search/"Windows Live Search" does in fact have an image search, and has had one for a long time. Not sure why A9 wouldn't leverage that, but MSN Search is a respectable search engine in my admittedly not independent view.

If I can take a sec to pimp some rare MS coolness, try the "search builder" option below the search bar and play with the results ranking options... it's been there since inception, and is pretty cool IMO. Also, the virtual earth/local live site is massively cool, and has been better than Google Maps for some time. Can't compete with Google Earth of course, but that's an installed app: for web-based mapping/satellite/bird's eye views (zoom in on a metro area for bird's eye views), better interface including scroll wheel support, and the ability to build permalink-able directions, "points of interest" maps, and scratch-pad'ed maps, it can't be beat.
posted by hincandenza at 2:48 PM on May 14, 2006

The result ranking in MSN search is nifty hicandenza, I've been messing with a similiar system for Google scholar.

Somebody needs to mix in some Ajax with that, so we can get the results of tweaks in real-time.
posted by formless at 4:59 PM on May 14, 2006

Ad Center is open as of last week to US advertisers. They plan to open it to UK advertisers in either June or July, I forget which it said. Meanwhile it's still in pilot phase there.

I'm not a fan of MS products generally, but I will say their ad center is pretty slick. It has some nice features and works a great deal better and more transparently than some of the other PPC places I've worked with.
posted by Zinger at 7:42 PM on May 14, 2006

neustile, what's your OS and browser? I know my dad has problems seeing Local.Live (the maps stuff) with Safari on OSX.
posted by Dunwitty at 1:27 AM on May 15, 2006

> Also, the virtual earth/local live site is massively cool, and has been better than Google Maps for some time.

US only (as opposed to Google Maps, which has international roll-out).
posted by catchmurray at 2:17 AM on May 15, 2006

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