Yahoo unveils new features to compete with Bing
The two longtime rivals announced an alliance late last month designed to keep them within sight of Google, the internet search leader that is expanding its reach. But that deal is confined to search, and Yahoo's comments made clear the Microsoft tie-up leaves room for antagonism even there.
Under a proposed deal announced last month, Bing technology would become the exclusive search tool on Yahoo sites. But Prabhakar Raghavan, Senior Vice President, Yahoo said, "We are not a version of Bing. We are Yahoo and that will continue. We collaborate on the back-end but we are competitors on the front-end. It is our belief that the battle has moved beyond the back end. What we do with it, how we paint it, how we render it, that's entirely up to us."
Yahoo intends to leverage its user experience enhancements to compete vigorously with Microsoft in the search space. The updates are also clearly aimed at seizing market share from the undisputed search king, Google of Mountain View, as was the partnership with Microsoft itself. The agreement promises to give the two companies a combined market share in the space of nearly 30 percent, according to ComScore. That's still well behind Google's 65 percent, but nonetheless reshapes the competitive landscape.
On Monday, Yahoo also announced updates to its e-mail and instant message services, Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger, adding a bevy of new applications, many focused on the hot social networking space. New mail features include: integrated applications including Yahoo Calendar, PayPal and Xoopit; improved photo sharing tools; expanded attachment limits (from 10MB to 25MB); and new social networking tools like status updates. Improvements to Messenger, include the ability to launch video calls and browse recent updates from friends, including Twitter messages and Flickr picture uploads. The updates went live on Monday.
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