Yahoo CEO unveils handful of new products to big CES crowd

LAS VEGAS/SAN FRANCISCO Tue Jan 7, 2014 6:22pm EST

1 of 5. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (R) greets journalist Katie Couric on stage during Mayer's keynote speech at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 7, 2014. Couric will join Yahoo as a global anchor.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith

LAS VEGAS/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc Chief Executive Marissa Mayer unveiled a handful of new products, including a competitor to Google Inc's predictive search technology for smartphones, in a debut appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show that drew a big crowd.

The former Google executive who took the reins at Yahoo in the summer of 2012, has moved aggressively to revamp the struggling Internet company's business with product makeovers, acquisitions and a renewed focus on its media offerings.

Yahoo's services attracted more than 400 million monthly mobile users for the first time last fall, Mayer said, surpassing the 390 million mobile users it announced in October.

Speaking in a keynote at the annual technology industry gathering in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Mayer announced Yahoo's acquisition of Aviate, a company which makes a smartphone app that automatically brings up relevant information or other apps to suit a user's activity.

"Imagine if your phone can deliver the right experience to you at the right time instead of you having to search for it," Mayer said. "What if your phone suggested music and map apps when you got in your car or fitness apps when you got into the gym?"

The technology, which Mayer said will be rolled out under the Yahoo banner this year, appears similar to Google Now, which the search giant introduced in 2012.

While Yahoo's revenue growth has yet to pick up under Mayer's leadership, the 38-year-old CEO has brought pizzazz back to an Internet brand considered by many to be past its prime.

More than an hour before she appeared onstage, a long queue for Mayer snaked through several continuous hallways into a nearby showfloor at the Las Vegas Hilton, where Mayer and other keynote speakers were slated to speak.

During her talk, Mayer was joined onstage by celebrity news anchor Katie Couric, a recent Yahoo hire who will provide original video programs on the website.

Yahoo also unveiled new "digital magazines" focused on technology and on food on Tuesday, as well as a mobile app that provides short, summarized versions of the day's news. Yahoo also said it was rolling out improvements to its advertising business, to make it easier for marketers to buy ads and to target different portions of Yahoo's audience.

Shares of Yahoo, which have gained more than 160 percent since Mayer took over in 2012, were up 19 cents at $41.11 in extended trading on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Richard Chang)

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Comments (12)
betrayed wrote:
If yahoo is doing so well how come my e mail keeps going up and down and losing data last month I had a whole week without being able to log in.

Jan 08, 2014 11:09am EST  --  Report as abuse
betrayed wrote:
If yahoo is doing so well how come my e mail keeps going up and down and losing data last month I had a whole week without being able to log in.

Jan 08, 2014 11:09am EST  --  Report as abuse
AtypicalMale wrote:
“The former Google executive who took the reins at Yahoo… has moved aggressively to revamp the struggling Internet company’s business with product makeovers…”

Like Yahoo! Mail, which was a ‘solid’ email application for me for more than a decade. I had absolutely no complaints about it which I can recall.

Now? Complaints about it having an ‘unavailable’ status are seeming to crop up fairly often. Pages within it now often time-out while loading. You can no longer right-click upon a specific email and open it in a new tab in order to simultaneously view emails. You cannot drag-n-drop the edge of a column heading to change the width of a column. You cannot alter the width of height of the email upon the page. You can’t see the full title of an email which has a lengthy ‘Subject’ line. The option to underline text when composing an email is no longer available.

I could continue, but you get the gist.

If the ‘product makeover’ that Yahoo! has done with their email service over the past few years is indicative of what’s to be expected of them with any new products that they’ll release, I’d have to suspect that Google and other competitors won’t be “shaking in their boots”, as the phrase goes, in regards to their facing any potentially dangerous competition related to such offerings.

Jan 08, 2014 11:20am EST  --  Report as abuse
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