Uncertain Future For Yahoo Developer Projects


The fate of some of Yahoo’s search-related developer projects is now uncertain following the deal the company has made with Microsoft

The fate of some of Yahoo’s search-related developer projects is now uncertain following the search technology deal the company has made with Microsoft.

In a blog post, Chris Yeh, head of the Yahoo Developer Network, said the status of Yahoo’s SearchMonkey and BOSS projects is yet to be determined. Said Yeh: “For SearchMonkey and BOSS, we currently do not have anything concrete to tell you. Clearly, we’ll need to work with Microsoft to determine what makes the most sense for you and for us.”

SearchMonkey enables developers to use structured data to enhance the usefulness of Yahoo search results, and BOSS, or Build your Own Search Service, is a full-featured search API it is an initiative to provide an open search web services platform whose primary goal is to give developers free access to the Yahoo! Search index.

In a separate post, Ashim Chhabra of the BOSS team, said: “What specifically does it mean for BOSS? Honestly the team is still absorbing the implications and we just don’t know. We can tell you that BOSS will remain live for the time being. There are many aspects still to be considered. Over the next several days we’ll be working hard to get clarity and will update the community as soon as we can.”

According to Chhabra, the official Yahoo messaging on the subject is: “This is the beginning of a process and we’ll be working with Microsoft to determine what makes the best sense for both us and developers. Regardless, we are certainly committed to continuing to innovate on the user experience of search all across Yahoo! and on continuing to engage with the developer community on several fronts, opening up leading audience experiences and data to third-party innovation. In that context, SearchMonkey can add a lot of value to how we help people get the most out of search and out of Yahoo!. Over the next several months we’ll determine what makes sense with our developer offerings and provide information when available.”

However, one report indicates that Microsoft is interested in continuing these efforts. According to the “All About Microsoft” blog, Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft Senior Vice President, Online Audience Business Group, indicated the software giant’s interest in continuing SearchMonkey and BOSS under the Microsoft umbrella.

The All About Microsoft post said: “’Until we can look at the (Yahoo search) code and understand it, we can’t say specifically yet’ what we intend to do, Mehdi said. But it’s more likely that Microsoft will be looking to make use of some of Yahoo’s peripheral search technologies and projects, like BOSS (Build Your Own Search Service) and Search Monkey, rather than doing any major shifts of algorithmic vision with Bing, he seemed to indicate.”

Meanwhile, Yeh said the future of Yahoo’s other developer offerings, such as YUI, YQL, and Pipes is more concrete. “We wanted to let you know that today’s news does not affect these products,” Yeh said. “None of our other non-search developer products are affected. Yahoo! remains fully committed to supporting and adding new features to these important tools and services.”

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