Yahoo! Unveils Tablet, Smartphone Apps
Yahoo Inc unveiled a handful of products to try and bolster its mobile and social networking offerings, as the struggling Web company continues to evaluate its future.
The company, which fired CEO Carol Bartz in September, introduced new multimedia applications for tablet personal computers and smartphones on Wednesday, and demonstrated new technologies aimed at attracting third-party publishers and advertisers to a new Apple Inc iPad-based media service.
"Innovation in this space is happening on mobile devices first, and it's closest to users and that's where the fastest-growth markets are," product chief Blake Irving told reporters at Yahoo's Sunnyvale, California headquarters.
Among the new products unveiled were a multimedia newsstand for tablets dubbed Livestand, a weather application for Android mobile devices, and a new version of IntoNow, a social application related to television, for the iPad.
Yahoo has long endured criticism for lacking a more comprehensive strategy for engaging Web users who are drifting away from PCs and spending more time on tablets and smartphones.
It has been undergoing a strategic review of its business since ejecting Bartz. The company has hired investment bank Allen & Co and has entertained inquiries from various private equity firms, including Silver Lake Partners, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Asked how Yahoo can stay focused on developing new products amid the uncertainty, Irving said the company's mission has not changed and the staff remain dedicated to developing innovative products.
"I'm personally more bullish on Yahoo today, than I was two weeks ago, eight weeks ago, a year ago," Irving said without elaborating.
"We have dreams about what this company can be, and that's what we're building."