As I wrote last month
, Opera Software
has a mobile browser, Opera Mini, which is well worth a try, especially when compared to many of the browsers that come standard on smartphones. I also said it should leverage the strength of its mobile application rather than trying to overtake Microsoft in the desktop browser market.
And I'm sure most of you are well aware that Yahoo! Plays second fiddle to Google in the desktop search engine space, by a long stretch.
But, the two have now combined their expertise to bring what should be an even better mobile Web experience to users. There's nothing wrong with the Yahoo! engine, and Yahoo! offers a variety of services and applications that quite good - it just isn't Google, but the company is clearly making an effort to compete in the mobile space, which isn't a bad move at all. We all know how the mobile market is evolving (which is precisely why that should be Opera's focus).
I've registered for the Beta
of Yahoo! Mobile, but am told it could take a few days, or longer, for that to happen due to its popularity. As soon as I've been able to check it out, I'll report on the experience.
That said, from the announcement
Yahoo! made yesterday in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress
, it seems it has developed an application that will enable not only search tools, but also access to email accounts, social networking, and favorite news feeds and other personalized information -- just like a desktop application.
Scott Ellison, VP Mobile and Wireless, IDC, had this to say: "Yahoo! Mobile represents significant and continued innovation by Yahoo! around creating a compelling and engaging user experience with mobile data services, and especially the mobile Internet. Rich and well-integrated offerings like Yahoo! Mobile, offered across a broad range of devices, will play central roles in the rapidly evolving mobile Internet space.
In addition to the features above, the smartphone version of Yahoo! Mobile
will include voice-based searching, improved map tools, customizable widgets, and the Opera Mini version 4.2, which will be integrated into the Yahoo! Mobile app to launch when Web site access is required.
There's no question Opera offers an excellent mobile browsing experience and, if Yahoo! Mobile delivers as promised, this partnership could prove a huge win for both. On one hand, of course, search engines and related applications will still be measured against Google, and Web browsers against IE, but the mobile space is developing so rapidly, not only is there room for growth, but the opportunity for Opera and Yahoo! to capture significant market share seems real, especially if, as Jon von Tetzchner, Opera's CEO, claims, "Together, Yahoo! and Opera will bring the full Web experience to your phone, similar to how you know it from your desktop computer."
Public release of Yahoo! Mobile for mobile Web-capable devices is due in late March, for devices running WebKit-based browsers like the iPhone and iPod Touch, many Nokia Series 60 and Android devices, as well as Opera Mini 4.x and Windows Mobile devices with IE Mobile, and the BlackBerry Bold and BlackBerry Storm browsers (according to Yahoo!). An iPhone-specific version is also set for late March, with additional smartphone versions scheduled for late May.