Yahoo Revamps Amid Uncertainty - InformationWeek

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Mobile // Mobile Applications

Yahoo Revamps Amid Uncertainty

New personalization tools add direct links to social networking sites, other external content.

In an effort to match rivals Google and—for now at least—Microsoft, Internet portal Yahoo rolled out a new home page design Tuesday that allows users to customize much of the page and add personalized widgets that display weather, sports scores, stock prices and other content.

Yahoo Front Doors, as the portal is calling the effort, offers direct links to popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Ebay, and others. The links can be added to a new "My Favorites" column that appears on the home page's left hand side.

"Add your favorite sites and preview them—all in one place," Yahoo states on the page. The features mimic personalization services available on Google's iGoogle site and on Microsoft's MSN portal.

Earlier this month, Yahoo introduced its news Search Pad feature. Still in beta testing, it gives users a platform on which they can create notes based on their search results, share the information with friends, family, or business associates, and save the results for future use.

Yahoo's efforts to spruce up its online presence could make it more attractive as a target for an acquisition or partnership deal. Currently rivals, Microsoft and Yahoo have reportedly renewed talks aimed at striking a search advertising agreement.

Terms were uncertain, but the companies in the past have explored arrangements that would see Microsoft acquire Yahoo's search advertising business for a combination of upfront cash and ongoing payments.

Google presently controls about 65% of the U.S. search market, while Microsoft owns only about 8% of the market, according to the most recent numbers from ComScore. Yahoo, the number two player, held 20% of the market, as of May.

Yahoo is expected to report second quarter earnings Tuesday after the close of regular trading hours.

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