It's a sad day for search as Yahoo! have announced they're to close the AltaVista search engine. AllThingsDigital report that cutbacks at Yahoo! are responsible for the decision.
Other products to be closed include MyBlogLog, Yahoo! Picks, Yahoo! Bookmarks, Yahoo! Buzz and Delicious.
AltaVista was launched in 1995 and, for a great many people including myself, was the search engine of choice for many years. It was set up by researchers at Digital Equipment Corporation's Western Research Laboratory. It was for a while the darling of the web with daily searches starting at 300,000 on launch day to more than 80 million within two years, and that was 1997 when nobody was online yet!
AltaVista became the search provider to Yahoo! in 1996 and was then sold to Compaq. The dot.com bubble bursting in 2000 hit the company hard and resulted in its eventual sale to Yahoo!
In a statement, Yahoo! said...
"Part of our organizational streamlining involves cutting our investment in underperforming or off-strategy products to put better focus on our core strengths and fund new innovation in the next year and beyond. We continuously evaluate and prioritize our portfolio of products and services, and do plan to shut down some products in the coming months such as Yahoo! Buzz, our Traffic APIs, and others. We will communicate specific plans when appropriate."
It will be the closeure of Delicious that will have most people upset though. All a spokeswoman would say about it is...
“We continue to operate Delicious today, and will communicate specific details when appropriate."
Update: Delicious has recently been sold by Yahoo. The service continues to be available on the Internet as an effect of that. It is also interesting to note that AltaVista is still operational and accessible as of today.
Other services have indeed been closed down though.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.