Destination Nowhere: Ask Give Microsoft Map Business

    July 2, 2008
    WebProNews Staff’s mapping service, a feature laden map option that provided a host of tools, received an unceremonious dumping in favor of Microsoft and its Virtual Earth.

Visitors to Ask Maps will see something unusual in the bottom right corner of the screen: a badge denoting the service comes from Microsoft Virtual Earth.

If you’re looking for all those features Ask Maps contained, like drawing tools and embeddable maps, stop looking. They’re gone, cut loose in what looks to be a spate of cost cutting, as Search Engine Land sees it.

The Virtual Earth blog said its product received insertion into several Ask products. Along with Ask Maps, Smart Answers and Ask City show Virtual City results.

Ask’s move likely won’t be the last as it repositions itself toward what we think will be a heavy shopping focus. Anything that isn’t funneling visitors toward a conversion of some type probably has a target on its back at Ask HQ; the old butler Jeeves will have lots of company in retirement.