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Sat, Jan 07, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Yahoo expands beyond the PC

INFO ON THE GO A new service allowing access to customized content on mobile devices will enable the company to follow its 400 million users anywhere


Yahoo Inc is expanding its presence beyond the PC, moving onto Web-enabled cellphones and other mobile devices so users can access their customized content while untethered.

Yahoo Go Mobile, a new service that was set to be launched yesterday at the International Consumer Electronics Show, is the latest example of the growing trend of "get your information anytime, anywhere."

Many of the features and services that Yahoo has been amassing in recent years, beyond the e-mail already available on many so-called smartphones, can now follow its 400 million users wherever they go.

Anyone with a Yahoo account can have their customized data they now get through the Web portal load itself into whichever device they carry. The information -- from news to restaurant reviews to personal contacts and appointments -- will be synchronized through whatever data network they may be using -- cellular or Wi-Fi, for example.

Yahoo Go Mobile will work on any cellular network, but for now, only on Nokia's Series 60 line of smartphones. Support for additional mobile devices is planned.

The product encompasses a new user interface designed to fit on the small screen of a smartphone.

Instead of the plethora of links now viewable at once on a user's personalized Yahoo home page, Yahoo Go streamlines the main menu content into major categories such as search, mail, news and calendar, which users could then scroll through.

Yahoo's music and video services is not yet available through Yahoo Go Mobile but may be added later, company officials said.

The Yahoo Go application is downloadable for free at Yahoo's Web site. However, the Sunnyvale, California-based Internet giant says it has also signed a deal with Nokia Corp so the cellphone maker will be pre-installing the Yahoo Go program on select mobile devices. Cingular Wireless also plans to promote Yahoo Go.

Yahoo is also working with Motorola Inc to bring Yahoo Go to those phones, said Marco Boerries, senior vice president of Yahoo's "Connected Life" division. Bringing the service to Java-based phones will come later, but Boerries could not specify when.

Another version of Yahoo Go for PC-connected televisions, called Yahoo Go TV, will be launched in coming months, the company said. It will similarly let Yahoo users access much of their personalized Web data as long as the TV is connected to the Internet.

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