Yahoo Lets Outsiders Get Inside Its Email
from the taking-a-look dept
When Google unveiled Gmail, it immediately leapt far ahead of competing free, web-based email services, in terms of storage and features. Since then, rivals like Hotmail and Yahoo have tried to match Google’s offering, but the development process has been slow. Now Yahoo is adopting a strategy that it should have tried much earlier, turning its mail service into a platform upon which others can develop new applications. So, a third party could develop a new display for the email, build new features for it, or combine it with other applications. This makes sense for multiple reasons. Yahoo doesn’t know exactly what will be a hit with consumers; it could put a lot of effort into one new system, only to see it be a dud. And by opening it up, it makes web mail more like regular email, which people can access using a variety of programs and services. So far, Google has the reputation for building out platforms and services that then get incorporated into other applications, whereas Yahoo has taken hesitant steps down this path. Perhaps now, the company is realizing that for competitive reasons it needs to be bolder about opening up.