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Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Yahoo Announces New Yahoo! Mail, Messenger and Search


Today Yahoo! is advancing three of its most popular global products, the Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger and is testing a new Yahoo! Search results page.

In addition, Yahoo! is creating a more consistent look with the introduction of a new universal header that extends Search Assist to the search box on every Yahoo! page in the United States. Yahoo! Mail

People can now share more and stay better connected from their inbox, saving time and the need to visit multiple websites to get things done.The Yahoo! Mail enhancements include:

- Streamlined Design - A new Application Box that people can personalize to fit their needs combines Calendar, Notepad and third-party apps, providing a cleaner, more streamlined inbox and making it easier to manage e-mail folders (available in New Yahoo! Mail).

- Useful Apps - Adding to the portfolio of third-party apps available, a new Evite app launching next month will let people create and send Evite invitations, check on the status of events and add them to their Yahoo! Calendar directly from their inbox. The growing list of apps, which also includes Flickr, PayPal, Picnik, Xoopit and ZumoDrive, will be available worldwide in the coming months.

- Enhanced Photo Sharing - New multi-select and drag-and-drop functionality makes it easier to attach more photos to e-mail, view thumbnail previews and rotate pictures (available in New Yahoo! Mail).

- Increased Attachment Limits - With more people sharing and receiving larger amounts of photos everyday, Yahoo! Mail has extended the attachment limit for photos and files up to 25MB (up from 10MB) (available in New Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Mail Classic).

- More Social Features - In the coming weeks, people worldwide can take advantage of new social features to stay updated on what friends and family are sharing online, including the ability to view the most recent e-mails from contacts and receive birthday reminders. Additionally, with an improved Yahoo! Contacts solution, people automatically have current information whenever a contact changes their name, e-mail address or phone number (available in New Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Mail Classic).

- E-mail, On the Go - A new Yahoo! Mail experience for the mobile phone makes it easier than ever for people to stay on top of their e-mail with one-click access to check, compose, and search e-mail. Additionally, support for downloading attachments such as Microsoft Office documents, PDF files and photos has been added, as well as the ability to access personal folders. Enhancements will be accessible on more than 400 devices with HTML browsers by visiting m.yahoo.com, beginning with the Safari browser today and additional devices planned for September 1.

Yahoo! Messenger

Yahoo! Messenger 10 allows users to instantly communicate with friends and family around the world through new interactive and social features. Enhancements include:

- Video Calls - New high-quality video calling enables full-screen, face-to-face chats at no cost.

- Updates Tab - A new tab helps people easily discover Updates from friends and family, including status updates, recent Flickr uploads, Yahoo! Buzz stories, Twitter updates and more.

- New Yahoo! Insider - Now customizable by zip code, this re-designed welcome window provides Messenger users with access to localized news and weather, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Buzz and Yahoo! Search.

- Language Selector - Catering to its popularity among a global audience, Yahoo! Messenger now lets people choose from more than 16 languages without having to download a different version. - Improved iPhone App - People can now receive messages from Yahoo! Messenger contacts even when they are using a different app on their iPhone.

New Yahoo! SearchExperience

Yahoo! is also testing a new search results page, aligned with the design of the new Yahoo! homepage and aimed at making Web search more personally relevant. The test, available randomly to millions worldwide, delivers a differentiated search experience that lets people better explore the things, people and websites that matter to them most. New functionality being tested includes:

- Results Filtering Options - The page provides new tools for refining search results including exploring related concepts, displaying only results from popular Yahoo! and third-party sites, and narrowing results by different types of content such as people, videos and discussion forums.

- Intelligent Search Results - Enhanced assistance creates a more personally relevant experience that better understands what people are looking for based on prior searches. It is powered by search session science that detects intent by looking at search behavior over time. For example, a search for "Paris" followed by searches for "flights" and "cheap hotels" helps Yahoo! Search understand that someone is seeking travel-related content versus gossip about a Hollywood heiress.

- Easy Access to Search Controls - The new site provides quick access to Search Scan/SafeSearch, which helps protect users from viruses, spyware and search spam, and Search Pad, the personal research assistant that lets people capture, organize, save and share information they find while researching online.

- Search Assist Expansion - Yahoo!'s real-time query suggestion engine, Search Assist, has been introduced to the search box on every Yahoo! page in the U.S. with the launch of a new universal header. This new header unifies key design and navigation elements, with links to popular Yahoo! destinations such as My Yahoo!, Finance, News, Sports, Mail and the Yahoo! homepage.

Yahoo! to Acquire Maktoob.com

In related news, Yahoo! also today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Maktoob.com, a online community in the Arab world.

"This acquisition will accelerate Yahoo!'s strategy of expanding in high-growth emerging markets where we believe Yahoo! has unparalleled opportunity to become the destination of choice for consumers," said Yahoo! chief executive officer Carol Bartz.

Maktoob.com was founded in 2000 by Samih Toukan and Hussam Khoury as the world's first free Arabic/English Web-based email service, and since then has grown to be the leading Arab online community in the region.

Following the acquisition, Maktoob.com will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yahoo!. It is expected that the transaction will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2009. Financial terms were not disclosed.


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