Yahoo said it will introduce on Friday an improved version of its software suite for mobile-phone users in the U.S. and launch test versions in 13 other countries. The Internet company also plans to announce agreements with six mobile carriers in Asia to use its oneSearch Web-based search service as the default engine on their mobile portals.
Yahoo's downloadable Go for Mobile application, which has been tested in the U.S. since January, will be released with several enhancements. Yahoo Mail users will be able to open several common attachments, including Word, Excel and PDF files, in addition to the basic text and image files they could view previously. They will also be able to access and file emails in folders. The new Local and Maps service will include satellite maps that include street names and real-time information on traffic conditions. Go users will also be able to access Yahoo's calendar service, and address book users will be able to, with a shortcut, call people in their address book and get driving directions and maps to their street addresses.
The six Asian mobile operators that Yahoo made search deals with are Globe Telecom in the Philippines; Idea Cellular in India; LG Telecom in Korea; Maxis Communications Berhad in Malaysia; PT Telekomunikasi Selular, or Telkomsel, in Indonesia; and Taiwan Mobile in Taiwan.
Yahoo said the service has been requested by more than 3 million people. "We have a very clearly stated goal, which is to be No. 1 in mobile," said Lee Ott, director of mobile product management at Yahoo. "We're making a major push to get the service out in everyone's hands." Ott said that "2007 is going to be the tipping point for mobile," because "the phones are good enough, the networks are good enough and now, with the new Yahoo Go, the products are good enough."
For more about Yahoo's mobile push:
- read this article from Dow Jones