What’s going to happen to My Yahoo and del.cio.us? That’s what I wanted to know when I heard yesterday that Microsoft wanted to buy Yahoo. I love Google Reader and iGoogle, but I need My Yahoo and del.icio.us too.
Techcrunch says My Yahoo and del.icio.us are likely to stay even if Microsoft buys Yahoo. They are indispensable.
No social bookmarking site is as useful and convenient as del.icio.us. Digg may be great for checking out the hottest technology stories, but when you want to bookmark articles for your own reference, del.icio.us is handiest.
And My Yahoo is one of the earliest and best personalised start pages around. iGoogle has more features. But if all you want is plenty of stories from your favourite websites on your start page, My Yahoo is great. I have tried Netvibes and Pageflakes. They are all right if you are happy with 20 or 30 RSS feeds on one page. If you want more, try My Yahoo.
And then there’s Flickr.
No wonder Microsoft has offered as much as $44.6 billion for Yahoo. For all its problems, Yahoo has some of the most popular and useful sites on the Net.
But will they get better under Microsoft? I am not so sure.
Microsoft’s patchy Internet applications
Apart from Windows Live Writer, I can’t think of a single Microsoft Internet application I would like to use. MSN Spaces doesn’t bear comparison with Blogger, WordPress.com or TypePad. Windows Live OneCare lacks some of the features of other Internet security suites. Windows Mail was released without any support at all. Windows Live Mail offers protection for webmail but no support for Pop 3 mail. And when the new Microsoft Word came out last year, Microsoft said it could be used for blogging. It must have been joking. You are better off blogging on Notepad instead — at least, it won’t muck up the HTML.
The problem is Microsoft’s Internet applications tend to be either too simplistic or too restrictive. Yahoo showed more vision in its early days. It came up with one of the earliest personalised pages, tying up with Reuters, AP, New York Times and other news organisations to deliver news feeds long before there was Google News or Google Reader.