First IAC took itself apart, now Ask is slowly dismantling its cool features, too. Chris Pendleton, a Virtual Earth evangelist, has posted that Ask has dropped its own mapping features—Ask Maps, AskCity and map results integrated into their SERPs—in favor of Live Virtual Earth (Microsoft’s maps product).
Dear Ask Maps user,
We are sorry, but our maps service is no longer available. Please re-enter your query in the search box above to use our main web search service.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. If you have any comments or questions about our service please contact us.
The Ask Team
Microsoft has long been touting their maps product (see Satya Nadella’s conversation at last year’s SMX Advanced), but it’s pretty sad to see Ask’s go—not because the narrowing of the field will irreparably harm the search sphere. It may not make much of a difference in the long run.
But Ask’s map products did have a few unique features that I, for one, am really sorry to see go (like walking directions—do you know how important those are for pedestrians in a city with thousands of one-way streets?! Yeah, they’re gone now.).
What do you think—will you miss Ask’s maps? Is this a step in the right direction for Ask?