February 22nd, 2004, 13:31 PM
Google To Offer Free Email Service
In July 2001, three months after Terry S. Semel, the former Warner Brothers studio co-chief, took over as chief executive of Yahoo, he excitedly called a news conference with Sir Howard Stringer, the chairman of the Sony Corporation of America. The past and present movie moguls described in glowing but vague terms a new partnership. Sony would buy some advertising on Yahoo, and Yahoo would help Sony develop a new Web site.
"We're not quite married," Sir Howard told reporters, hinting at possible closer ties between the companies in the future. "But at least we're holding hands."
Mr. Semel is not flirting with media companies anymore. Yes, Sony is still an advertising client, but there is little more to the relationship than that.
In a world where movie studios, record labels and television networks are fought over like so many poker chips, Mr. Semel simply doesn't want to play that game. The company refuses to answer questions about whether Mr. Semel might be tempted to return to Hollywood to run a mainstream media company, like Walt Disney, or otherwise become caught up in the takeover battle between Disney and Comcast.
Yahoo's future, Mr. Semel says, is almost exclusively on the Internet and, even at the age of 60, he wants to be part of it. "I love what I do," he said last week. "I didn't need a job when I came here. I wanted the opportunity to help build a great company. And we have only taken the first steps."
The next steps could be among his most challenging. Under Mr. Semel, Yahoo has become a big hit on Madison Avenue, with advertising revenue surging ahead of its traditional rivals, America Online and Microsoft's MSN. Yahoo now has about 70 of the top 100 national advertisers as clients, so it no longer bothers to announce new ones - let alone hold news conferences with their chief executives.
But now Mr. Semel must win over a tougher audience: Silicon Valley. In many ways, Yahoo's main rival is Google, started five years ago by two brainy Stanford graduate students who believed, against conventional wisdom, that sophisticated computer science could produce better Web searches.
They were right. Google has become not only a verb but also a profitable company with a reported $1 billion in sales. It is expected to be the hottest initial public offering this year. And now Google is preparing to offer a free e-mail service, people close to the company said, in a bid for Yahoo's most important source of loyal customers.
I can't wait!
February 22nd, 2004, 22:33 PM
thats great im going to open an account there
February 24th, 2004, 22:56 PM
is already setup bb?? there are too many oo's in your name and email I'll be wearing out the 'o' key hehe
--- 0wN3D by 3gG ---
February 25th, 2004, 08:33 AM
all bets are off...
LOL...good one cash.
BTW - Google Mail is not running yet, but I'll probably jump on the band wagon! I wonder how good the SPAM filters will be. Hotmail has certainly come a long way!!
February 26th, 2004, 00:34 AM
nahh it is not up yet. But I was just anticipating the service with my new booger google account.