Yahoo Go will soon be gone. The mobile application service, launched in 2006 at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, will shut down on January 12, 2010, Yahoo has announced.
Go was a portal service that allowed users to access Yahoo content -- including e-mail, contacts, calendar, photos, and search -- across multiple devices, including mobile phones, TVs, and PCs. In 2007 Yahoo and mobile phone maker HTC teamed up to offer version 2.0 of Yahoo Go on Windows Mobile handsets, and Yahoo later released a third version. More recently, however, Yahoo had been shifting its mobile focus away from Go, and hadn't upgraded the service in over a year.
Shuttering Yahoo Go was a smart move, as the service had outlived its usefulness. Seen as fairly innovative when it debuted nearly four years ago, Yahoo Go had become irrelevant in an era of increasingly sophisticated smartphones with much better browsers. Recently Yahoo redirected its online efforts into building Yahoo Mobile applications for the iPhone and other platforms. The Yahoo for Mobile browser has been a major project as well.
Yahoo is struggling in an extremely competitive online marketplace. Google and Microsoft continue to chip away at Yahoo Search's market share, and the company is wisely shedding properties that are past their prime. Last month, for instance, Yahoo closed its GeoCities Web-hosting service, a relic from the 1990s.
Despite these efforts, Yahoo seems adrift right now. Hopefully it can figure out what it wants to be.