Yahoo! Go for Mobile was first launched earlier this year for mobile devices running the Symbian operating system. From today, it’s now available on any Windows Mobile-powered phone running either Microsoft’s mobile OS version 2003 SE or Mobile 5.0.
Yahoo! Go for Mobile integrates services such as Y! Mail, Search, Photos, Address Book and Calendar, and Y! News, Sports, Finance, to give consumers quick access to their personalized content on their mobile phone and is free for consumers in the following countries – US, UK, FR, DE, IT, ES, AU&NZ, IN, ID, MA, PH, SG, Other (Int Eng).
In addition Yahoo! has announced today they have also formed global distribution deals with leading device manufacturers including Motorola, Nokia and RIM to reach millions of additional consumers by embedding Yahoo! Go for Mobile on selected devices. For example Motorola will pre-load and prominently feature Yahoo! Go for Mobile on optimized handsets worldwide starting in the first half of 2007.
During the Web 1.0 battle between MSN, Yahoo and AOL, the goal was winning consumers hearts and minds to become their default browser portal on the desktop. With the advent of broadband the need to have everything in one place has dissipated.
Today the mobile device is the new battle ground between Google, Yahoo and MSN (GYM club). Once again slow [mobile] access speeds mean that consumers are again happy for the GYM club to offer an aggregated mobile portal as their default homepage in order to save time and money.
In the past, distribution deals with Windows Mobile OS manufacturers have ensured that MSN has always had a sizeable customer base on the Windows mobile platform. This announcement today will significantly challenge MSN ‘s mobile dominance.
At the moment there is nothing online explaining clearly what Microsoft’s strategic response will be or what we can expect with Windows Mobile Live. Today there is a loose federation of MSN Mobile services and some Live beta applications – spaces, maps, search.
As for Google, London is their main mobile development centre. Google’s Web n Walk search strategy has worked well with T-Mobile here in the UK but consumers are still wary of surfing the web using their mobiles due to the high data costs associated with browsing. They are also still frustrated by the experience due to the slow access speeds even with 3G handheld devices. The battle for the hearts and minds of the mobile customer has only just begun.
In my opinion, Round 1 went to Google with their web n walk campaign, round two therefore goes to Yahoo! with today’s announcement who or what will win then next round?