Yahoo BOSS To Survive Microsoft Deal In Some Form; Details Still Hazy

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After months of silence, Yahoo’s BOSS team is opening up to frustrated third party developers about the future of the powerful search platform. A few hours ago, Yahoo’s Ashim Chhabra left a post on the BOSS group forum, offering an explanation for why it has taken so long for Yahoo to relay information to developers, and giving them some idea of BOSS’s fate. The good news? BOSS will continue to live on in some form, but it’s unclear exactly how things will be changing and which services will be powered by Microsoft technology — and there may be fees involved. That uncertainly will probably leave some developers on edge, but at least they know the project isn’t being scrapped entirely.

Chhabra’s post was clearly prompted by the actions of some frustrated BOSS developers, who grew tired of being left in the dark and approached the Department of Justice to talk about how BOSS will be impacted by the Yahoo/Microsoft search deal. The DOJ heard their complaints, scheduling a conference call with them for next week. Chhabra’s post may help placate them for the time being. We’ve included his full post below:

Folks,

Thank you for your feedback. We understand your frustration. This process has been long for all of us due to the complex nature of our agreement with Microsoft, and we appreciate your patience.

Under this agreement, Yahoo! is permitted to continue offering the BOSS web service, with search results that would integrate Yahoo! services and content with algorithmic results provided by Microsoft. As always, our intention is to provide a BOSS offering as long as it makes business and economic sense to do so. We are still examining what the BOSS offering will consist of, with some services powered by Microsoft, unique content that Yahoo! currently provides, and the potential for additional Yahoo! content in the future.

Prior to the announcement of the Yahoo!-Microsoft search agreement, we’d already shared our intention to explore a fee-based structure for BOSS. We continue to explore an appropriate fee structure or other revenue model as we work through the future of BOSS.

As you know, we must receive regulatory clearance before actual implementation of the search deal with Microsoft can occur. Only then can we finalize the future shape of BOSS. Of course, we will provide additional clarity and certainty when we can.

Thanks for your attention!

Yahoo! BOSS team

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