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Yahoo refreshes Mail, Search

Days after reports of Bing displacing Yahoo in the number 2 slot came out, Yahoo attempts to reassert its relevancy by previewing updates to several of its site products, including email and search. The updates are expect to roll out to users sometime this fall.

The changes are aimed towards reversing the decline in the amount of time people spend on Yahoo sites.

The company changed the appearance of its search interface so that users can get more expansive information on the first results page. In other words, users searching a movie would also see showtimes and be able to buy tickets without leaving the Yahoo site. Under a recent deal with Starbucks, users who log on to free Wi-Fi networks in the coffee store will be directed to Yahoo content tailored to their local market. Similar deals with other companies are expected.

Yahoo will also continue investing in mobile applications for devices like the iPad and other tablets. The Android tablets, when they finally arrive, are expected to be a huge market opportunity. The Yahoo! App for the tablet will include news and other content, access to Yahoo Mail, an alarm clock, and weather forecast features. There are agreements currently with 100 carriers and handset makers to pre-install Yahoo products on mobile devices.

The company’s chief product officer Blake Irving laid out a three-year plan to transform Yahoo into “an innovative technology company with the largest digital media content and communications business in the world.”

The company has lost several high-level ad and product executives in recent months.

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