Jeff Bezos is trying to introduce A9 to the crowd and his PC just asked if he wanted to do an "Automated Update" and he accidentally clicked "yes." People are laughing hard.
A9 is about open search. When you search on a term, you can chose to include the Web, images, movies, books, reference, yellow pages, your history, your book marks, and so on. These show up as columns side-by-side (only Web and images are on by default).
The platform is open so that others can add categories. They've extended RSS with a few tags to allow syndicated search. This is pretty cool. Other columns show up in the green See more columns tag on the right. Then you can add things like PubMed search (for medical, NIST, NASA, NYTimes, and so on.
What does this mean? There is now a way for content providers to provide their own, specialized search to others within a single tool. Think of this as an aggregator for search results. You can create your own private blend of places to search as you do research in a particular area.