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Yahoo’s New CPO Loves His Mac

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You might have worked for the company for a decade, but that doesn’t mean you will get a new cappuccino machine. It does mean that you get a new ID card, that says you have worked for the company for 10 years, and it also means you get a new gig. Ash Patel, the senior VP of engineering and the “OG” Yahooligan is going to be the new chief product officer, replacing current CPO Geoff Ralston, who is taking off for parts unknown.

I came across this little exclusive tidbit when visiting with Yahoo Communication Team that is having an offsite at The Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay. (They got to see a brown man blush, but I shall leave that story for another day.) I sat next to Ash, and got into a spirited discussion about why Yahoo is really all about My.Yahoo.Com. My contention is that forget search, because Yahoo has something better than that.

My.Yahoo.Com is no longer a portal page, but instead an “attention page” which can be and should be leveraged to become the aggregator site for complicated digital life. Ash, who spent a lot of time on that particular page – building it I mean – agreed.

But then I harped about how Mac-unfriendly Yahoo was and it needed to change that. Not true, I was told. Brad Garlinghouse, Yahoo’s in-house VoIP guru confirmed what my buddy Andy had reported earlier: Yahoo is pretty close to putting finishing touches on their Mac Communicator (aka YIM) client, which should be able to meet the high standards of the Mac community. Still, as we talked geek, Ash pointed out that he had five computers, all PCs and he found that he was spending an increasing amount of time just making them work.

If he was feeling that the world dominating OS platform was too much, just imagine the frustration of well, who are technically challenged. Patel said that he just wanted a laptop, that would simply wake-up when he flipped it open. So he went and got himself a nice little Powerbook. A few days later, he took off for vacation. Instead of his Thinkpad, he took his PowerBook. VPN and Entourage, ensured that he was picking up his Exchange email. A week later, he had seen the light. I hope this new convert ensures more attention to the Mac platform.

I think this is actually a big step forward: as more and more Silicon Valley big-guns start to use Mac, there will be a new impetus to do apps for Mac platform. I have not always been a Mac user, but yes, once you pay the Steve-Tax, you know you can focus on the work, and not the computer. I think folks at Apple should simply send Powerbooks to the top 50 CEOs and CTOs in the Valley, and see what happens. One hour of Pixar DVD sales should cover that cost!

But back to Yahoo…. I also over heard that Yahoo2Go will soon be supporting SyncML, which means more phones are likely to come into the fold than current five or so.

29 Responses to “Yahoo’s New CPO Loves His Mac”

  1. rOckAPE

    It’s June 22, 2006…where’s the damn YIM client. Why not beta? Why not SOMETHING from Yahoo’s site at least talking about it…updating us?

  2. Quote:
    Posted by totoro on Jan 26th, 2006 at 8:29 AM
    -yes, that’s what i mean – a new yahoo messenger

    ya that was like what 4months ago now and this is still the only (semi)cedible mention of a new YIM for us OSX users. I love my Mac and only have 1 complaint, WHY does noone care when they go and make the A/V chat for only “that other company.” They won’t even play nice and let othe companies have the code they need to make it themselves …wake up Yahoo! there are other people out there and if you don’t want to do it yourself there are atleast 3 I know of that want to but hit the brick wall without your help.
    Rant over… sorry, Yahoo! frustration… it crashed and now no video chat.

  3. I’d love a new Version of YIM for OSX!

    It’s been soooo long since the last update. I’d assume the new version would be a Universal Binary for Intel Mac support.

    Is there a place I can score Ash’s email address. I’d love to let him know that many people in the Mac community are waiting on this release.

  4. New YIM Client? I guess I wouldn’t be very keen to use it. Back in the good ol’ Windows days I used Gaim as I couldn’t handle the YIM Interface. Now, I use Adium which is a LOT better than anything else. It is sleek, light and organized. Voice and Video support are two factors which keep GAIM and libgaim based Adium a bit short of perfection.

  5. givemeabreak

    “Still, as we talked geek, Ash pointed out that he had five computers, all PCs and he found that he was spending an increasing amount of time just making them work.”

    Oh give me a fucking break! That was thrown in there to please the mac fanboys and probably wasnt even true.

  6. openhack

    For all its exciting widgets and Web 2.0 acquisitions, dontcha wish sometimes that Yahoo would resist throwing software and services at us until making sure it actually worked? While a big fan of all the free stuff Yahoo is offering, I think it takes the crown from Microsoft when it comes to buggy releases that can cause endless hours of frustration. Om is praising My Yahoo but I can’t count the times I access it to be told my mail or briefcase or calendar or some other service is not available. I use Yahoo Calendar all the time but have given up trying to get Intellisync to work properly with it. It also has the most unreliable instant messaging program – I have them all on my desktop but find getting webcams to work with Yahoo’s extremely problematic or impossible. Worst of all is Yahoo Music, which seemed like the bargain of the century at the time at $60 for a year’s subscription. I’ve faced countless bugs with this one and am not alone. There are scripting errors, licensing errors, login errors, syncing errors and frustrating licence expirations that lock you out of your music every month. It’s put me off the subscription model entirely. So before Yahoo gets going with Go, could it please fix all the previous stuff first?

  7. Andrew S

    Actually, where Ash Patel works, they do get cappuccino machines after serving for ten years! Since the company’s barely ten years old, only a handful of employees have qualified.

    If you walk around Yahoo!, you see a growing number of engineers who use company-issued Mac laptops. In my observation it’s about 25%, and growing rapidly as people replace their older work laptops.

    This can only lead to good things for the future of Yahoo’s Mac support.

  8. Here’s hoping the new Y! IM for Mac will have a “Launchcast” tab as provided in the Windows version.

    As a (Mac-using) paying customer of AT&T Yahoo DSL, I am frustrated that I’ve paid for Launchcast for years, and yet am rarely able to use it (only at school on Windows).

    I definitely count Y!’s purchase of Konfabulator, to create Y! Widgets, as a very good sign of their commitment to the Mac community. I hope they can continue it.

  9. “But back to Yahoo…. I also over heard that Yahoo2Go will soon be supporting SyncML, which means more phones are likely to come into the fold than current five or so.”

    Do you mean different support than what they already offer with their Yahoo Mobile Contacts-Back-up (which uses SyncML)?

    I’ve been trying their Go service on a Nokia 6630 and found it to have lots of potential, but doesn’t quite work as well as it should.

  10. forget search, because Yahoo has something better

    It’s the 64 Billion Dollar Question. Yahoo’s leading the charge in providing a rich personalized experience. My money, literally and figuratively, is with the company that figures out how to compensate users for their online and purchasing activity with significant revenue sharing.

  11. If you can get them to create a Music Launchcast client that supports Mac users then you’ll have moved the beast. $30 a year for a subscription and I really like the “Ole Radio” I’ve created but I can’t listen to it on my Mac system, forcing me back to my XP system. Go get ’em Om!

  12. MikeInAZ

    Agree with your post, but another effect of switching to osx is that you replace the time you would of spent troubleshooting your Windows machine with the time you spend exploring all the cool little osx applications that are available.

    Although there may be fewer apps, they generally seem to be of higher quality. Apps like TextMate, Quicksilver and NetNewsWire put me in computing Nirvana.

    • Mike
      Currently Exploring: Yojimbo