Yahoo! Go is being advertised as "a new suite of products and services for your PC, mobile phone and even your TV". The main aim is to enable people to connect with their content (e.g. email, photos, music) across a range of devices.
Right now the Go product range is limited. Upon clicking the "Get Started Now" button I got two "coming soon" notices and a limited availability mobile offering. Here's the deal at this point in time:
- The Go Desktop is "coming soon" and only konfabulator widgets are available now.
- Yahoo! Go TV is also "coming soon" and will only be available for Windows XP PCs.
- So that just leaves mobile -- and that's available only on "select Nokia Series 60 handsets."
The 'How It Works' was intriguing. The PC offering appears to be a desktop dashboard with fold-out panes. The email part of it is being promoted as a purely desktop app: "You can manage your mail without ever opening a browser." The Yahoo 360, IM and My Web 2.0 tie-ins seem to be all part of a desktop appliance - Yahoo's equivalent of the Google Desktop perhaps?
The TV part will be interesting to track, mainly because video and TV Internet integration is all the rage right now - with Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and a host of others talking it up at CES. Yahoo is keeping the hype at a red hot level with Go, promising it'll "change the way you watch TV." It says: "By accessing Yahoo! services directly on your TV, you can have a more personalized viewing experience." One interesting feature is that Flickr will be featured in this product. There's also the expected music and video offerings.
Mobile is the unknown quantity here, because who knows if it'll be deployed outside the US and how effective the service will be. One interesting feature is "voice instant messages", which is Yahoo Messenger on your mobile. It also has email via mobile phone.
At first glance, Yahoo! Go seems like a decent attempt to create a kind of portal environment that will extend across the PC, TV and mobile. However at this stage it also seems to be mostly vapourware, with not much actual product to show. But then so is Microsoft's Vista at this time... So one key thing that I hope Semel will reveal tomorrow is the timeframe for when each part of Go will be released.
It also worries me that the TV part is limited to Windows XP PCs and mobile will be limited in terms of handsets and presumably carriers. That's the lay of the land with Internet media in 2006 though, with partnerships being the prime currency in this environment.
Of course the proof will be in the pudding, so I look forward to trying the Go product range out in future - when it's ready to, er, go.
Update: The official press release is out now and it touts Go as a 'Beyond the Browser' experience: "Yahoo! Go allows us to free the best of what the Internet has to offer from the confines of the browser and provides consumers fast and easy access to the essential products and services they know and love..."
Which begs the question - how big a part will web browsers play in this new media world?