Yahoo: A Retrospective of Microsoft's Acquisition Target

Early Rivals Emerge

Yahoo wasn't without competition back in those days.

WebCrawler was getting popular and Lycos was also making a name for itself, but none of the search engines at the time fully satisfied people. So it was common to switch allegiances whenever a better service came along. In 1996 many Internet users did just that when sites like Inktomi and Digital Equipment's Alta Vista launched.

But Yahoo managed to endure the competition, possibly because its directory often was a better place to find links that the early search engines.

Microsoft Joins the Fray

Microsoft was making a late start on the Internet, launching MSN as a dial-up Internet access service in the U.S. in 1995. It wasn't until a few years later that MSN was relaunched as a portal and still more years until Microsoft put its full weight behind developing Internet-based products and services.

Like Yahoo, Google also grew out of Stanford University but didn't start to achieve recognition until the end of the decade. Within a few years, however, it had grown to become the leader in online search.

Today Yahoo is one of the most powerful online media brands in the world. It has more than 500 million users in numerous countries and its name is recognizable to billions of people.

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