Citing "sources close to the plans," Reuters is reporting that AOL is seriously considering merging with Yahoo, which will first require a "complicated series of transactions."
Nothing is yet imminent, but according to Reuters, the plans are in the exploratory stage. A bunch of obstacles also stand in the way of this happening, not the least of which includes a breakup of AOL's two main businesses, it's legacy dial-up service (which would be sold to EarthLink) and it's display advertising business, which would merge with Yahoo.
This is essentially the same thing AOL hoped to accomplish back in 2008 and again in 2009 before Time Warner decided to spin off AOL rather than deal with the tax headaches what would accompany a breakup.
It's already a new week, and time for another fun-filled dose of the Maximum PC No BS Podcast. This week, the guys talk about Windows Phone 7, Google TV, and a possible Aol/Yahoo merger. A brand new catch phrase is invented and subsequently run into the ground faster than the Exxon Valdez. That's a little environmental disaster humor for all of you.
Also, we're giving away some more sweet loot from Asus. Listen in to find out how you can win. Hit the jump for full contest rules.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are not standing by.
For those of you who use Yahoo Search, you may have noticed some changes lately. That's because Yahoo has begun kicking out the first in a series of search enhancements, such as search categories laid out in vertical tabs.
"With these shortcuts, you can watch movie trailers, listen to songs from an album, see the latest photos, and read the latest tweets about certain topics," Yahoo said in a blog post. "We're creating a search experience that, instead of merely presenting you with a simple list of results, lets you discover important, relevant information and get things done right after you search."
Not just for the PC, Yahoo says it also enhanced Web search for iPhones and Android devices with better organized results that tap into HTML5 technology. To see this in action, Yahoo suggests visiting m.yahoo.com on your mobile Web browser and searching for a stock quote.
Let's face it, no one's going to topple Google in the search game, at least not any time soon. That means the real race is for second place, and it's there that Microsoft's Bing and Yahoo's Yahoo Search run neck in neck.
Which search engine leads the pack from second place depends on who you ask, and if you put your faith in Nielsen's numbers, then Bing just inched ahead of Yahoo in the international search game.
"Nielsen's search data only counts genuine intentional searches that people type into a search box," Nielsen explains. "It does not include non-intended or 'contextual' searches that are automatically generated by search engines based on a person's browsing behavior."
With Nielsen's formula in place, the research firm says says Bing controlled 13.9 percent of the search market in August, up just barely from July. Yahoo, meanwhile, slid backwards 1.5 percentage points from 14.6 percent in July to 13.1 percent in August.
Yahoo plans to revamp its Yahoo Mail service, in part to improve the speed of the service in overseas markets where connections are typically slower than here in the U.S., The Wall Street Journal reports.
It's part of a project codenamed "Minty," and in addition to a faster underlying architecture, Yahoo will also be giving its email service a bit of a facelift, one that will make the service better resemble the simple design of the downloadable email app.
"We continue to innovate our product experiences, and specific to Yahoo Mail, we have been previewing our next version of email that provides higher performance, sleeker design, and great integration" with social-networking services, a Yahoo spokesman said.
The makeover comes at a time when Yahoo Mail still ranks as the No. 1 Web-based email service in the U.S. with 97 million unique visitors in August. Not only is that more than Gmail, but it's more than Gmail and Hotmail combined. At the same time, that number is down from about 107 million visitors Yahoo Mail recorded in August, 2009.
Google has become a part of everyday life, both for its now-ubiquitous search engine, as well as for its huge lineup of services. Whether it's Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Picasa or the almighty Google Search, the company holds a large majority of users in the palm of its hand.
And there are good reasons why Google's services and products are so popular, but that doesn't mean that the competition isn’t pitting their own ideas against the internet giant. Other big-hitters like Yahoo and Microsoft are also vying for their stake in the market, and numerous smaller developers are attempting to offer comparable services that keep Google on its toes.
We’ve got a list of ten alternatives to the most commonly used Google services, followed by services from alternative developers to give you more information on the available alternatives. There are some cases where Google indeed has a superior offering to its competitors, but there are also instances where a particular user might favor an alternative product.
For now, Google has nothing to worry about in the search market. Despite a 1 percent drop in month-on-month market share, Google is still crushing the competition with a 64.2 percent share, followed by Yahoo in a distant second at 14.3 percent. And what about Bing?
Yes, what about Bing. Microsoft's spunky search engine sits in third place with a 13.6 percent share of the market, and that alone doesn't sound particularly impressive. But make no mistake, Bing is on the up and up. While all but one other top five search engine showed a year-on-year drop in market share, Bing managed to move up by a whopping 51 percent. During that same period, Google moved backwards by 1 percent.
When you consider that Bing is now powering Yahoo's U.S. search operations, the market share outlook could look a whole lot more competitive this time next year. Google can afford to rest on its laurels for a little while longer, but after all this time at the top, we could soon be looking at a market share split.
Yahoo has finished transitioning its search back-end to Microsoft's search platform in North America, the two companies announced Tuesday. A week is all it took for the entire process to be completed. It was quite an inimitably productive week for Bing: Microsoft's share of the US search market nearly tripled. This is the first concrete step the two companies have taken on their way to implementing the 10-year search and ad deal they both agreed to last year.
“Yahoo! Web, Image, and Video search experiences on both desktop and mobile devices are now powered by the Microsoft platform in the US and Canada (English), with more markets to come. The speed in which this was completed is a testament to the great work and partnership between a number of Yahoo! and Microsoft employees, the ranks of which are numerous,” said Shashi Seth, senior VP of Yahoo search products.
We all know that Google is pretty much dominating the desktop search market, but a new analysis from Pingdom shows the mobile market is even more under Google's control. Google appears to be rocking a 98.26% share of mobile searches. The nearest competitor is Yahoo, with about 0.8%. Probably all from the Motorola Backflip.
It's clear this is due to Google's placement on the iPhone and Android as the default search engine. Microsoft's Bing has less than half a percent of mobile searches. When Windows Phone 7 launches, it will have Bing as the built-in search provider. But is that enough to even put a dent in Google's piece of the pie?
Honestly, we can't think of a time we've used a search engine other than Google on a phone. Have you?
New York-based URL shortener Bit.ly is being courted by a number of companies, chiefly among them is Yahoo. If Bit.ly were acquired by Yahoo, it would be another piece in what appears to be a big social media push from the former search king. Rumors have been flying for months that Yahoo is also in talks to buy up location-based social networking company Foursquare.
Yahoo has become more of a content company as Google has taken over direct search. Since Yahoo's user base is mostly about content consumption, it makes sense to use social media to make their existing properties more interactive. What they are looking at is social aggregation; pulling in their users' activities from around the web to a Yahoo hub.
Bit.ly's real usefulness is to Yahoo wouldn't be its ability to shorten URLs, but rather the performance tracking of shortened URLs. This is going to be an integral part of the real-time web. We're passing the point that delayed web metrics can be of use. Where do you see Yahoo's strategy going?