Yahoo is joining up with Online Anywhere to deliver the information from Yahoo?s Web site to information devices including WebTVs, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and palm sized PCs.
Online Anywhere develops technology that allows Web content to be reformatted automatically for viewing on various types of devices with limited display capability.
Yahoo will use the technology to deliver its personalised Internet services such as email, calendar, stock quotes and maps.
?If you accessed Yahoo from WebTV, it didn?t look all that good,? explained Ellen Siminoff, vice president of business development and strategic planning at Yahoo. ?It?s not designed for that format. The Onlne Anywhere technology will optimise [the Yahoo content] on the fly,? she continued.
Optimised content for WebTV, 3Com's Palm Pilot and Windows CE based handhelds will be available immediately, said Siminoff. A special version for pagers will follow in late April. By the end of the summer, Yahoo intends to add support for more devices, including wireless Web phones.
Web access from non PC devices is only a very small market today, but it is expected to gain importance quickly.
?I think [Yahoo?s ] timing is probably about right,? said Greg Blatnik, analyst at Zona Research. ?America Online has laid out some plans for targeting some of these consumer devices, and MSN has also said something similar.?
According to Blatnik, the Online Anywhere technology will allow Yahoo to reach new categories of devices with little extra effort. ?The important part is that this is essentially a reformatting engine,? said Blatnik. ?Existing applications and content will remain unchanged.?
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