Yahoo Go Comes Out Of Beta With Big Global Push
Yahoo Go 2.0 and related mobile oneSearch offerings are coming out of beta this Friday and going into “general availability” in the U.S. While consumers pay no attention to these distinctions — alpha, beta, gamma and so on — it signals Yahoo’s confidence in the product.
Simultaneously, nation-specific versions of Go will be released in 13 countries, including Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, Thailand and Vietnam. Yahoo also announced that it has signed new partnership agreements with six Asian mobile carriers.
The six Asian carriers, Globe Telecom (Philippines), Idea Cellular Limited (India), LG Telecom (Korea), Maxis Communications Berhad (Malaysia), PT Telekomunikasi Selular “Telkomsel” (Indonesia) and Taiwan Mobile (Taiwan), represent a combined 100 million subscribers according to Yahoo.
According to one of the Yahoo press releases from earlier today:
The new version of Yahoo! Go 2.0 launches on Friday and will be available for more than 200 different mobile phones in the US by the end of July, expanding to more than 400 by end of year. It will also be pre-loaded on new devices from Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, LG and HTC that begin rolling out later this year.
The new version of Yahoo! Go 2.0 makes it even faster and easier for consumers to enjoy the Internet on their mobile phone. Enhancements include:
- Faster than ever before – Greatly increased speed, including substantially reduced loading time, makes it even more fun to use
- Even better e-mail – Ability to read more types of attachments, including PDF files and Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents, and access to Yahoo! Mail folders
- More powerful maps – View both satellite and hybrid maps, current traffic conditions and optional GPS integration on select devices, including the BlackBerry® 8800
- Easier to stay connected – Search Yahoo! Address Book contacts to call or get driving directions with one-click and view Yahoo! Calendar, even search for specific entries
- Better mobile search results – Faster access to better results with just oneSearch
According to a piece in the Wall Street Journal discussing the announcements:
The new Local and Maps service will offer satellite maps and real-time information on traffic conditions. There will be shortcuts for finding the location of ATMs, restaurants and other places people often search for while on the road. And the software will use global-positioning-system technology embedded in certain high-end devices to help those users find nearby establishments more easily.
Even though a recent iCrossing mobile user survey showed a mobile search usage breakdown tracking Web search market share, other user surveys have shown Yahoo Mail as the number one mobile content destination. Regardless, the mobile market is still very young and effectively wide open. From a strategic point of view, Yahoo is smart to be so aggressive this early and can potentially establish a leadership position in mobile, provided it can deliver on the lofty usability promises being made by Go.