RealTime IT News

Yahoo! Looks Beyond PCs

Another leading Internet player Wednesday made a move to capitalize on the growing popularity of Internet devices and wireless phones.

Yahoo! Inc. Wednesday bought Online Anywhere, a Web delivery solution provider for non-PC appliances, for about $80 million in stock.

Online Anywhere's services will enable Yahoo! content and services to be available on TV-based Internet appliances, personal digital assistants (PDAs), wireless devices and other non-PC gadgets.

"Online Anywhere is consistent with our Yahoo! Everywhere strategy," said Tim Koogle, Yahoo!'s chairman and chief executive officer. "With Online Anywhere's talented team and their industry-leading device solutions, we've acquired the best in the business to ensure that consumers can get their Yahoo! anywhere, anytime."

Through this acquisition and with the emerging market for non-PC devices expected to rise significantly over the next couple years, Yahoo! plans to be ahead of the pack in meeting new consumer demands and extending its distribution platform.

The partnership between the two companies was initiated in April, when Yahoo! entered an agreement with Online Anywhere to employ its Author Once, View Anywhere service, which automatically reformats and delivers HTML Web pages to non-PC devices.

Continuing with its non-PC roll, Yahoo! Wednesday also announced a deal with Sprint PCS to offer Yahoo! content and services to Sprint PCS wireless subscribers using Sprint PCS phones. The companies expect to make the services available in the fourth quarter of 1999.

The two companies will jointly market co-branded Sprint PCS My Yahoo! services to both companies' users. The Yahoo! and Sprint PCS service will include e-mail services, the Yahoo! address book and calendar, and Yahoo! content.

Later this year, Sprint PCS plans to offer nationwide two-way wireless data transfer, which will enable consumers to access the Internet using the Sprint PCS phone either as a browser itself or as a modem to hook up a mobile device or laptop.