Yahoo Answers kills Microsoft QnA

Posted on May 14, 2009


“Microsoft what?” I hear you ask.

If you’ve ever Googled a question (notice we use the term ‘Googled’ rather than ‘Yahood’ or ‘MSNd’), from how to use your new iPhone to how much ginger to put in a beef curry, the chances are you’ve found Yahoo Answers at some point. It’s a user generated website whereby people ask questions on any subject, for others to offer answers. Answers are rated and displayed according to their relevance to the query.

It’s a nice idea, and amazing for Yahoo, it works. As with anything Yahoo or Google does, Microsoft wanted a slice of the action and created Microsoft QnA (catchy eh?) which was a rebrand from their Live Search QnA which was part of MSN.

Time out here… just what is it with Live Search and MSN? Why can’t Microsoft actually decide on a brand?

Anyway, back to the point in hand. Microsoft has now decided that QnA doesn’t actually work, at least when compared with Yahoo Answers. The service has been in Beta since it was created and hasn’t really attracted much of a userbase. Nevertheless, Microsoft made an announcement stating how users could keep in touch when the serviced closes on May 21st.

At this time, we are closing the QnA site, but the experience of running QnA and gathering all of the great feedback you’ve shared with us will certainly influence future product direction. When QnA moved from the Live Search organization into MSN we announced that we’d be looking for new ways to share questions and answers across MSN and provide new opportunities for you to engage with each other and share your opinions, ideas, and knowledge. That mission has not changed. Questions and answers are still important to MSN and your feedback has been very valuable for our future product strategy.

Microsoft has recommended three alternatives for people who are at a loss at the thought of QnA going under. These are Live Search (obviously) the message boards for MSN and Microsoft Answers… perhaps Yahoo Answers would be better.

We’re sure that Microsoft QnA will be missed, we’re just not quite sure by how many people, but the chances are they could all fit inside a phone box.


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