Yahoo

Joseph Menn

After giving millions of users a good 24 hours to express their anger and frustration at wide reports of a plan to kill off web bookmarking service Delicious, Yahoo got around to explaining that there was no need to panic.

A leaked internal presentation had showed on Thursday that Yahoo was planning to “sunset” some services, including Delicious, and Yahoo statements to the press that it was “cutting our investment in underperforming or off-strategy products” encouraged the idea that this meant Delicious was doomed. Read more

Joseph Menn

Yahoo is planning to kill off a handful of enduring and quirky services, including the pioneering bookmarking service Delicious, as it continues to streamline operations.

Shortly after the company confirmed that it would be firing more than 500 staffers, mainly in its products group, a disgruntled employee leaked a slide from a meeting this week that listed Delicious and story-spotting function Buzz as among the offerings facing “sunset”. Read more

Joseph Menn

Japan’s antitrust authorities have cleared Yahoo Japan’s plan to rely on Google for algorithmic search results, rejecting complaints from Microsoft and others that the combined service would field as much as 90 per cent of the nation’s search queries.

Japan Fair Trade Commission officials told wire services that they would not block the deal announced in July but would continue to monitor it for any harm to the market. Read more

Joseph Menn

For more than a year, Yahoo has been talking about two things that will help it stop losing users’ time to rivals including Google and Microsoft: making Yahoo core services work better and partnering with clear winners in adjacent web offerings such as Facebook and Twitter.

The biggest overhaul of Yahoo Mail in five years does both of those things. Out tonight in a beta version that will only be seen by users who request it, the new Yahoo mail is, as previously reported, twice as fast as the old one and integrates with social networking, photos and videos in an intuitive and unobtrusive way. Read more

Joseph Menn

Yahoo executives on Thursday outlined plans to improve its mail, news and other main services in the next few months, pledging faster load times, better integration with Facebook and Twitter, and deeper personalisation.

Chief product officer Blake Irving, who has been on the job since April, didn’t signal any bold new direction during the presentation at the company’s Sunnyvale headquarters. Instead, he argued that the company has been on the right track all along and just needs to move faster. Read more

Joseph Menn

A year after Yahoo and Microsoft finally agreed to combine their search efforts, the result is showing up.
Starting this week, natural searches on Yahoo from the US and Canada will begin being “powered” by Bing, the Microsoft search engine. Paid search results are still on track to be delivered by Microsoft this autumn, Yahoo executives said Tuesday, unless quality issues force a delay past the winter holidays.
Most users won’t be able to tell the difference, but the relevance should be better, said Yahoo vice president Shashi Seth. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Facebook, the biggest gaming platform in the world with nearly 500m members, will inevitably “screw up” its position, according to the president of rival social network Hi5.

Alex St John, formerly founder of the WildTangent casual gaming company, said Zynga, the biggest and most successful game publisher on Facebook’s social network, is also facing major challenges. Read more

Joseph Menn

Yahoo will put social gaming leader Zynga’s Farmville and other distractions on its pages as it tries to revive flagging user engagement and generate more ad revenue, chief executive Carol Bartz said Wednesday.

At a conference for investors and analysts at the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters, Ms Bartz and other executive said they were concerned about the drop in minutes spent on Yahoo pages per user, but promised an array of fixes. Read more

Joseph Menn

Yahoo chief executive Carol Bartz will announce a partnership Monday with Nokia that will put Yahoo search, email and other functions in the hands of at least some customers of the world’s biggest–for now–smartphone maker.

That was the bare-bones report filed today by All Things Digital, and FT colleague Andrew Ward and I have confirmed it, without getting much more in the way of details. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Microsoft has revamped its Hotmail browser-based email service in time for Office 2010 and the official introduction of online versions of Office applications.

The company may be trailing Google with its integration of Google Docs and Gmail, but consumers should be familiar enough with Office programs to want to give the new integrated service a try. Read more