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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

July 7, 2006 at 5:20 PM

Baby steps

Twinkle, twinkle little star … shoppers are confused by far.

Online retail giant Amazon.com plans to make changes to its new baby registry site after more than a thousand customers created registrie — without adding a single item to their lists.

Amazon on Wednesday had introduced its new toy and baby stores online, just days after ending its long-term contract with Toyrus.com.

In a coup, the online retail giant partnered directly with manufacturers such as Fisher-Price and LeapFrog and distributors such as Target and eToys to double its previous selection.

The company originally boasted that thousands of people had created baby registries just days after its new baby store was launched, but opted to make the change after learning that more registries don’t have any item.

“We’ll be making a change to clarify this for folks,” said Amazon spokeswoman Patty Smith.

Chris Chang of Edison, N.J., said he originally registered on Babiesrus.com before the split. His wife attempted to access the site from Amazon, unaware of the change, and created a registry after worrying that she had lost her original list. “We’re not keeping that registry open,” Chang said.

Tomoko Hall, of Austin, Texas, said she originally created a baby registry in a Babies R Us store, and never re-registered on Amazon.com. “I’m not ordering anything online,” she said.

Of a random sampling of 125 registries, nearly 80 percent have not signed up for a single item.

Amazon’s Smith said the company would enlarge the icon — “Having trouble finding a registry” — on the baby registry home page, so customers don’t mistakenly register. “That said, we still have thousands of lists that do have products associated with them,” Smith said.

Toys R Us won the right in February to sever its 10-year agreement with Amazon, following a protracted legal battle over the terms of the original contract. The ruling put into motion a 90-day separation agreement between the companies that ended July 1. Amazon has appealed the court’s decision.

Meanwhile, Toys R Us relaunched its Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com Web sites Saturday, with a new look and different e-commerce partner, King of Prussia, Pa.-based GSI Commerce.

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