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Yahoo moves in a new direction and shuts down maps program

Yahoo is shuttering its Maps site and other tools in the next few weeks

Yahoo is shutting down its Maps site and other tools in the next few weeks.

It’s a sign that Chief Executive Marissa Mayer is looking for more dead weight to trim now that the company’s profits won’t be boosted by a big stake in China online giant Alibaba. Yahoo owned 15% of that company but announced in January it would spin off those shares into a separate company.

On the Maps decision, Yahoo chief architect Amotz Maimon said in a blog post Thursday, "We made this decision to better align resources to Yahoo’s priorities as our business has evolved since we first launched Yahoo Maps eight years ago."

Yahoo Maps was once highly popular but has long been overtaken by Google Maps. Apple is putting more resources behind its own map service.

Yahoo, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., announced a slew of other changes. Among them: It will no longer support Yahoo Mail on some older iPhone and iPad operating systems; it’s also dropping support for Yahoo Contacts on some older versions of Apple’s Mac OS X.

It is also shutting down some of its regional, genre-specific media properties in the coming weeks, and plans to redistribute it across the Yahoo network. The affected properties include closing Yahoo Music in France and Canada as well as Yahoo Movies in Spain; Yahoo TV in Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Canada; and Yahoo Autos in Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Yahoo Entertainment in Singapore will also close.

Most of the shutdowns occur in June.

"At Yahoo, we continue to focus on our key product pillars: search, communications and digital content," Maimon said. "Part of that focus includes taking a hard look at our existing products and services, and ensuring our resources are spent smartly and with a clear purpose."

For a full list of changes, read the blog post here.

Follow Andrea Chang on Twitter.

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