"The open source, hacker attitude has been part of our culture for so long; now we're opening up the different pieces," Hughes-Croucher told the packed room yesterday. "We're taking data from across our sites and sharing it."
Dubbed the 'rewiring of Yahoo,' Y!OS 1.0 launched this week with the introduction of the social suite. Its strategy focuses on opening up almost everything to developers, including content, traffic, and Yahoo's user base.
Y!OS: What It Means to Developers
When asked what type of data will be available to developers, Hughes-Croucher said that Yahoo's strength is in historical data which can be accessed, assessed, and used to make the user experience better; the caveat of course is: with the users permission.
"If we use this data and grid computing to process the data, we don't need to ask you to import your address book - we already know that information," added Beckett. "At the end of the day though, this is your data."
But it's not just about user data, he says, search data is coming into it as well, via searchmonkey.
To make things simple for everyday developers, the Yahoo! duo told the audience they are concentrating on APIs for sites like Flickr and Delicious. "Of course, there are other technologies, like Yahoo! Query Language (YQL), the next generation of Yahoo Pipes, that brings ease of use to query language," says Hughes-Croucher.
One concern with YQL is that Yahoo! is creating its own proprietary standard to lock people into a language, but Hughes-Croucher told the audience that this isn't the case. "In terms of standards what we've seen is that a lot of the major companies are looking at taking ad hoc solutions that work well, and then collaborating - OpenID is one example of that."
Y!OS: Open and Social
Not only is Yahoo! becoming more open, it's also becoming more social with the debut on Thursday of a new universal user profile. If you're not familiar with it, Yahoo! Profiles offers a centralized control panel that lets users manage their social connections across Yahoo, and eventually across the Web.
"The key part of the Profiles launch is that unlike FaceBook, it will make very specific connections to the people that are important in your life," says Hughes-Croucher."
Profiles is only the first stage of Yahoo's Open Strategy. "It will let you start making social connections, and in the coming months you'll see other things," said Beckett.
As moderator Hank Williams said at the beginning of the session: "Yahoo! because of its scale is like a microcosm of the Internet and a lot of the things it does, or is working on, are things we can learn from when we explore how to bring Web 3.0 to life."
Of course, this begs the question: will Y!OS help make Yahoo! a viable competitor to Google? What do you think?
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