There has been a lot of debate in the past few months over the future strategy for Yahoo. There is no doubt that the company has some of the finest products in the web space that includes an email service (Yahoo mail), photo sharing service (Flickr), social bookmarking tool (Delicious) besides offering several commercial and enterprise solutions.
Despite these several services owned by the Sunnyvale based internet giant, the company has been largely seen to be banking on its content portals moving forward. Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz sees her company as a bigger version of AOL, that’s it!
In this context, a recent move by Yahoo to trademark Y.com appears interesting. In January of this year, Yahoo approached the US Patents and Trademark Office to trademark this new domain name. In the trademark description, Yahoo writes,
“Creating indexes of information, sites, and other resources available on computer networks for others; searching and retrieving information, sites, and other resources available on computer networks for others; computer services, namely, providing search engines for obtaining data on a global computer network; design, creation, hosting, and maintenance of websites for others; providing temporary use of online non-downloadable software for use in designing, creating, hosting, maintaining, and operating personal web pages; hosting computer software applications of others; providing customized online web pages featuring user-defined information, which includes search engines and online web links to other websites; domain name registration services for identification of users on a global computer network; online computer mapping services; mapping services, namely, providing a website and website links to geographic information, map images, and trip routing; computer services, namely, providing spam filtering, firewall, and parental control online filtering services; providing temporary use of online non-downloadable software in the field of employment information“
The description is interesting in that it describes several of Yahoo’s services like Delicious, Flickr in its umbrella of services.
So, that makes me wonder if Yahoo is planning to split their offerings into two – media consumption and tools & services. The Yahoo.com of today shall continue to serve media content while most of the other services including independent sites like Delicious and Flickr may be integrated into the new Y.com.
Alternately, I wonder if Y.com shall be the company’s new integrated parent platform where all of the existing properties shall redirect to. For instance, Flickr will point to flickr.y.com, Delicious will point to delicious.y.com and Yahoo will point to yahoo.y.com
Either ways, it will be interesting to see where things go from here.