theodp writes "As Amazon's search service A9.com officially goes live today after being in beta for months, it's receiving rave reviews. A Business 2.0 story penned by John Battelle says A9 has raised the bar for innovation in search. Paying heed to John Battelle's statement that Google and everyone else involved in search are going to be watching A9, BusinessWeek asks: Can Amazon Go Beyond Google? And the NY Times reports that A9 is insanely powerful (story linked above), relying on a quote from - you guessed it - John Battelle. The NYT notes that Battelle is the organizer of the upcoming Web 2.0 conference, but doesn't mention that his conference's keynoters include A9 CEO Udi Manber, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Amazon Board Member John Doerr, Amazon's Wall Street Cheerleader Mary Meeker, and Amazon subsidiary Alexa's Brewster Kahle."
An anonymous reader submits "Amazon have put up a new version of their A9 search engine. The "Beta" label was dropped, the color scheme changed, and new search types were added: Images (provided by Google), Movies (provided by IMDB), and Reference (provided by GuruNet). Several sources are already reporting this." Theopd writes with a more critical view of the hype surrounding A9's launch (note the link to battellemedia); read on below.