NEW YORK — Once up on a time, there was a popular search engine called AltaVista. It lives no more.
Palo Alto, Calif.-based AltaVista was introduced in 1995, three years before Google Inc. was founded. Eclipsed by Google in the early 2000s, AltaVista’s star had already faded by the time Yahoo acquired it as part of its $1.7 billion purchase of Overture Services Inc. in July 2003. Overture had bought AltaVista earlier that year from Massachusetts-based CMGI Inc. Yahoo announced AltaVista’s fate late last month.
According to data from online research firm comScore, most people in the U.S. use Google for their search needs, followed by Microsoft’s Bing. Yahoo is in third place.
Microsoft, meanwhile, is ending MSN TV (formerly called WebTV) service on Sept. 30, marking an end to one of Microsoft’s many attempts to become a major presence in TV and home entertainment.
Microsoft purchased WebTV networks in 1997 for $425 million — at that time its largest acquisition ever. WebTV was a Palo Alto-based company that provided technology that enabled people to use their TVs to browse the Internet. For a lower price than a typical PC, WebTV allowed users to surf the Web and handle emails via their TV and a wireless keyboard.
Microsoft renamed it MSN TV and, in 2004, came out with MSN TV 2 — a set-top box and service that let users surf the Web; handle their emails; and shift their music, digital photos and videos from a PC to a TV. But its capabilities were limited compared with PCs, whose price had dropped drastically by then.
Before the service ends, users will have to save any photos they want to keep. Users will be able to keep their MSN TV 2 email address and will be able to access their emails through Outlook.com.Barbara Ortutay of The Associated Press and Janet I. Tu of The Seattle Times contributed to this report.