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Friday, August 27, 2010

Yahoo! Search Now Powered by Bing

As of Tuesday (August 24th, 2010), Microsoft now powers Yahoo!'s search functions throughout the United States and Canada. This melding of the two giants is the first step in a partnership announced a year ago. Neither Yahoo! nor Microsoft were having much luck taking-on Google individually, and Yahoo!'s financial situation forced them to make some hard decisions, one of which was partnering with Microsoft, as opposed to selling-out to the computer giant entirely; The Cyberculturalist covered this sometime back, though not in great detail, as you can find plenty of articles on this subject written by more authoritative experts.

Yahoo! made a series of bad decisions over the years, trying its hand at too many things instead of focusing on its core competencies. In 2008, it began laying-off employees; in 2009, it closed GeoCities and long-time CEO, Jerry Yang, left; but once the Microsoft deal was announced, Yahoo! took a few steps toward redeeming itself. It began with a facelift and continued with the acquisition of Associated Content. Allowing Bing to handle the search functions frees-up money and other resources Yahoo! needs to spend elsewhere.

Eventually, Bing will handle Yahoo!'s searches worldwide, but this will not happen until 2012. Also, for now, only searches made in English will be handled by Microsoft, though more languages will be added shortly. The length of the partnership is set at 10 years, but a lot of things can change in a decade -- especially online! -- so I wouldn't be surprised if this partnership becomes permanent.

Yahoo Japan is a separate entity and has decided to remain with Google.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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