Yahoo! Dips its Toe Into Open Source

Oct. 3.06 | About: Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO)

Open source is kind of a scary concept – but it can be very powerful. After all, this approach to programming has led to innovations like Linux, which is a robust operating system.

With open source, programmers around the world can contribute to a common code base and allow for new innovation.

Even for big companies – like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) – it is very expensive to completely internalize technology development. So why not open-up technologies to the world?

Well, that’s what Yahoo is doing. That is, the company intends to give the keys to the code of its hugely popular email system.

The idea is that supersmart programmers will create cool applications using the email system. Ultimately, it should mean more usage – leading to higher advertising revenues.

Given some of Yahoo’s recent delays of new technologies, the company certainly needs a shot-in-the-arm. True, this is not going to have any immediate impact on the company’s recent fall-off in earnings expectations. But, in the fierce struggle with Google and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Yahoo needs to find ways to bring new innovations to the market. And fast.

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