While at home, I’ve done a fairly successful job of not using many Microsoft technologies for my Internet experience. At work I’m locked in to all things Microsoft, at home I can use any technology I choose.
I use Gmail for my email, Google for my search engine, Adium for my IM client, Safari, Camino, or Firefox for my web browser, Google Reader for my news feeds, and Flikr for some of my photos. But the most important page I hit every day is my personalized My Yahoo! page.
I’ve never been impressed with MSN.com’s pages and the new Windows Live sites don’t do much for you with an alternate browser or operating system. I was not happy with Yahoo when they released the new version of their home page because I was so used to the old plain text look, but over time it has greatly improved, added Safari browser support, and is finally performing like the old version.
When Yahoo first released the new version I decided to try to make the move to iGoogle. It wasn’t even close at the time. We use the Yahoo Finance pieces a lot and Google’s instructions to import that data over to iGoogle sounded easy enough – just highlight all the data, including headers, and paste it in to the import field. It almost never worked, and when information finally did import it never brought all the information I needed over. Very disappointing.
So I went back to the new My Yahoo and that’s when things started getting better. It’s become a great home page again – except for the massive ad that you can’t get rid of, but I worry that Microsoft’s influence would ruin the experience.
So I took another shot at iGoogle and was happy to see that things have improved a bit and they now have themes as well. It is still not as nice as my My Yahoo page, but my iGoogle page is pretty darn close and I’m ready to make the switch if necessary. After all, if Microsoft really got all the Web 2.x stuff they would never be bidding on Yahoo.
From the outside it sure looks to me like Microsoft needs Yahoo a lot more than Yahoo needs Microsoft.
Hang in there Yahoo, you can right this ship on your own. If not, I’m sure there are better suitors out there that would make better partners. Microsoft will take your best technologies, rebrand them, and you’ll be but a distant memory 5 years from now.
Hey, whatever happened to Excite anyway? ; p