Search Engine Wars

Amazon has unleashed a new search engine A9. Cannot, but applaud their ingenuity. Amazon knows that Google has the best search technology and they didn't want to reinvent the wheel, like some other big-wigs are currently trying to do. All they did was to incorporate the Google search and a couple of their own lame-ass searches to create a new web search. Extending this parasitic idea they simply consolidated some of the best websites- IMDB, their own Amazon.com for books and products. It was nice to avoid the few keystokes to get to imdb.com and amazon.com to look for references to movies and books. Then they have a reference tab that pulls results from guru.net. Another advantage is that you can turn these tabs 'on' or 'off' and see all the different searches on the same screen. Their toolbar seems to be a cheap imitation of the real thing. The interface is a low-budget graphic design job resulting in a rather clunky looking interface. Prefer the sparse 'Less is More' less is more design of Google.

Their biggest USP is that A9 is customizable and you can save and store searches which can be accessed from any computer once you login. I think this a very useful change. I begin any info search for business or pleasure with a 'Google Search'. It has been exasperating to recall the exact search terms to retrieve an old search. Often I find an obscure, interesting website and then cannot get it back again, wishing bitterly that I had stored it. Also you don't want to clutter your Internet Favorites.

The biggest and most important tradeoff is-'speed'. A9 is quite slow. Instantaneous search gratification is what I want and even a millisecond delay would cause me to swear (the VSNL days of dial-up being happily excised from my memory).

So knowing all this would you switch? Not I, because all the power features that I like using such as the metric conversions, the define:[word], site:[sitename], etc. are not supported. There is no tab for Google News or Groups which I rely on. Seeing the feverish activity of projects at Google Labs, Google seems to be way ahead of the game in terms of advanced projects. Google however, cannot sit pretty. If it had decided to get in the game it has to get ready to play hard-ball with the biggies. MSN still is going to unleash its Mother of All Search Engines- MASE and I predict a few changes in Google. Expecting more cool features and tweaks.

Could not find out why they named it A9. The A is for Amazon. But 9?? Anyone?

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