Amazon's A9 loses snazzy features's A9 search engine is losing the features that have earned it praise from industry experts. is stripping its A9 search engine of the features that won it praise from experts but earned it little attention from users.

In a note posted Friday on A9's Web site, explained that it has redesigned the search engine to make it easier and faster for users to find information.

As part of the changes, gone are glitzy local-search features such as maps, business listings and storefront photos. also discontinued the search engine's browser toolbar.

Also significant is that A9, originally billed as "a search engine with a memory," apparently has become amnesiac, losing its history, bookmarks and diary features.

The history feature gave users a list of sites they had previously visited, while the diary function let users save notes about their Web browsing adventures. Meanwhile, the bookmarks feature let users save links to their favorite sites.

Another casualty of the A9 changes is the "instant reward" program that gave registered users credits on purchases.

The "memory" features, along with the local search capabilities, in particular the street-level storefront photos, earned A9 consistent praise from industry observers as a trailblazing search engine brimming with innovations.

The man credited with ushering in these snazzy features, Udi Manber, quit as A9 search chief and joined Google in February, a loss that raised eyebrows and prompted questions about's future as a search engine provider.

"A9 continues to innovate in the area of search, which includes operating and enhancing product search on," an spokesman wrote in an e-mail message on Monday. "A9 is shifting its priorities to areas where it can provide the greatest benefit for customers."

New features introduced on Friday include giving users the option to list all the results of a search on one page, as well as a new user interface designed to make it easier for users to add specialized search engines to A9 from more than 400 sources.

Despite praise from industry analysts, A9 hasn't managed to gain traction with users. In August, A9 accounted for just 1 million searches conducted in the U.S., out of a total of 6.5 billion, giving it a market share of less than one-tenth of one percent, according to comScore Networks.

Users can retrieve their A9 history file and diary entries. More information is at

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