Uncertainty Over the Future of Yahoo Search

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-08-24 Print this article Print

The promising changes to Yahoo Search were a tad overshadowed by skepticism about the product in a Q&A session after the demo. Several members of the press grilled Yahoo managers about whether these changes will be executed or even possible if Bing begins powering the back end of Yahoo's search engine in 2010. Danny Sullivan also has his doubts in this post on Search Engine Land.

Yahoo executives such as Prabhakar Raghavan, senior vice president of labs and search strategy at Yahoo, said Bing's presence shouldn't affect the Yahoo Search experience.

John Kremer, vice president of Yahoo Mail, said the revamped Yahoo Mail, which was opened to third-party development last year, includes a new application box that combines Calendar, Notepad and third-party apps. Twitter-like status updates are a big part of the new Yahoo Mail.

Yahoo, which acquired photo-sharing partner Xoopit in July to bolster its Mail app, also now lets users drag and drop and multiselect photos right into e-mails. Underscoring just how much more data Yahoo users (and Internet consumers overall) are creating and sharing, Yahoo Mail has extended the attachment limit for photos and files from 10 megabytes to 25 megabytes.

Yahoo Mail is let users view the most recent e-mails from contacts and receive birthday reminders. In September, Yahoo will launch a new Evite app to let people create and send invitations, check on the event status and add events to their Yahoo Calendar from their inbox.

Finally, Dave Merriwether, senior director for Yahoo Messenger, drilled down into Yahoo Messenger, which now includes video calls (similar to Google's video chat from its Gmail app), an updates tab to bring status updates, recent Flickr uploads, Yahoo Buzz stories, Twitter updates and other content to Messenger users.

The new Yahoo Insider window is customizable by zip code, providing users access to localized news and weather, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Buzz and Yahoo Search. Finally, the language selector lets people choose from more than 16 languages without having to download a different version.

Read more about the Yahoo features on TechMeme here and in this Yahoo blog post for the company's perspective.


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