Yahoo!, a leader in developing mobile-first experiences, today extended its mobile leadership by announcing that it has agreed to enter into a strategic partnership with T-Mobile International to bring Yahoo!'s industry leading mobile services to millions of consumers in T-Mobile's European footprint. This agreement sets the stage for Yahoo! oneSearch to become the exclusive mobile search service for T-Mobile customers in their 11 European markets beginning at the end of March 2008.
This announcement builds on the steady stream of Yahoo! oneSearch partnerships announced over the course of the last 13 months. In early 2007, Yahoo! reinvented the mobile search experience with the introduction of Yahoo! oneSearch, a search experience specifically designed for the mobile phone that delivers relevant results and instant answers in a user-friendly interface, removing the need for consumers to navigate through a sea of PC Web links. Since introducing Yahoo! oneSearch, Yahoo! has announced partnership agreements with more than 29 leading mobile operators and more than 600 million mobile subscribers around the world.
“When we created Yahoo! oneSearch, we had a belief that mobile search was not the same as PC search. A fundamentally different approach was required, one that included different usage models and results filtering. Most importantly, we believed there was no guarantee that success in PC search would automatically translate into similar success in mobile search, creating a real opportunity for those who innovate," said Marco Boerries, execute vice president, Connected Life, Yahoo!. "Through our commitment to our mobile search philosophy, aggressive product development and worldwide distribution efforts, Yahoo! has emerged as the clear leader in mobile search.”
In an interesting sidelight, Valleywag is reporting on Jerry Wang's "secret plan" to revamp Yahoo!, which may be finding Yahoo! making significant progress only to hand it over to Microsoft:
Microsoft's bid came at a bad time for Yang, since some of the projects are bearing fruit and he had hoped to launch them as soon as this month. For Yang, it's a big bet -- his own version of Panama, the massive project to revamp Yahoo's ad platform. Of course, that doesn't bode well for Yang's efforts, since the delays in Panama were one of the factors that depressed Yahoo's stock price, opening the door for Microsoft.
Yang may well be overoptimistic. But his enthusiasm for Yahoo's secret technology has to factor into his thinking. Will a new developer platform really make Yahoo worth $40 a share overnight? Unlikely. But Yang must believe that what Yahoo has created in the last four months is worth more than Microsoft's dealmakers counted on.
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