For a while there, I kinda forgot Yahoo existed. This week's news brings the company back with a vengeance.
On Monday Yahoo unveiled a spiffy new home page, its eighth face-lift in 15 years. Silicon Alley Insider has a slideshow displaying how Yahoo's home page has evolved. Talk about your blasts from the past. It's like going through your old high school yearbook; you can't believe how incredibly dorky everyone looked.
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The new Yahoo is a significant improvement -- and vastly better than the horrible cluttered mess of the mid-2000s, when Yahoo seemed to be channeling the worst of AOL. I get migraines just looking at those old pages. It's no coincidence that this was when Google started kicking its heinie.
The most significant change, IMHO, besides the cosmetic improvements: the acknowledgement that the world does not begin and end with Yahoo content, in particular the integration with Facebook, Twitter, eBay, and so on. It's like Yahoo suddenly woke up after a two-year coma and realized the world had changed while it was snoozing.
(On a side note: Do you think maybe Yahoo is kicking itself just a little for blowing the Facebook acquisition in 2006? At the time it seemed almost silly to drop $1 billion on a social network aimed mostly at self-obsessed undergrads; now of course, that sounds like a bargain. Terry Semel, wherever you are, please come back home: There are people who'd really would like to pummel you with a sockful of fresh manure.)
Some folks have suggested the redesign is just Yahoo is putting on rouge, a pushup bra, and fishnet stockings, and otherwise tarting itself up in an effort to seduce Microsoft, which is -- stop me if you've heard this one -- in negotiations yet again with Yahoo for some kind of ad/revenue sharing deal.