I'll admit it; I thought it was pretty sweet when Ask Jeeves came about and you could type in a question and the site would answer it for you, whether by providing web links or more straightforward answers. Today Ask.com, formerly Ask Jeeves, has officially bowed out of the web search business that it entered in 1996. After years of not finding a suitable way to compete with big dogs Google and Microsoft, Ask.com's owner InterActiveCorp (IAC) is cutting 130 engineering jobs in China and New Jersey in the U.S.
Ask.com will now focus on their new community based Q&A service that was launched this summer. Ask.com's search engine will now deliver results from a competing company, although it is not clear yet whether this will be covered under IAC's current deal with Google or if Microsoft will poke their nose in there to get Bing results used.