The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Yahoo! Inc. is an American computer services company with a mission to "be the most essential global internet service for consumers and businesses". It operates an Internet portal, a web directory and a host of other services including the popular Yahoo! Mail. It was founded by Stanford graduate students David Filo and Jerry Yang in January 1994 and incorporated on March 2, 1995. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

According to Alexa Internet, a web trends company, Yahoo is the most visited website on the Internet today. The global network of Yahoo websites received 3 billion page views per day as of October 2004.



Yahoo started out as "Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web " but eventually received a new moniker with the help of a dictionary. The name Yahoo is an acronym for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle," but Filo and Yang insist they selected the name because they liked the general definition of a yahoo, as in Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift: "rude, unsophisticated, uncouth." Yahoo itself first resided on Yang's student workstation, "Akebono," while the software was lodged on Filo's computer, "Konishiki"—both named after legendary sumo wrestlers. The "yet another" phrasing goes back at least to the Unix utility yacc, whose name is an acronym for "yet another compiler compiler".

Yahoo had its initial public offering on April 12, 1996, selling 2.6 million shares at $13 each.

As Yahoo's popularity has increased, so has the range of features it offers, making it a kind of one-stop shop for all the popular activities of the Internet. These now include: Yahoo! Mail, a web-based e-mail service, an instant messaging client, a very popular mailing list service (Yahoo! Groups), online gaming and chat, various news and information portals, online shopping and auction facilities. Many of these are based at least in part on previously independent services, which Yahoo has acquired - such as the popular GeoCities free web-hosting service, Rocketmail, and various competing mailing list providers such as eGroups. Many of these take-overs were controversial and unpopular with users of the existing services, as Yahoo often changed the relevant terms of service. An example of this would be their claiming intellectual property over content on their servers, which the old companies had not.

Yahoo has now begun making partnerships with telecommunications and Internet providers - such as BT in the UK, Rogers in Canada and SBC in the US - to create content-rich broadband services to rival those offered by AOL. The company offers a branded credit card, Yahoo! Visa, through a partnership with First USA .

Beginning in late 2002, Yahoo quietly began to bolster its search services by acquiring competing technologies. In December 2002, it acquired Inktomi, and in July 2003, it acquired Overture Services, Inc., and through it, search sites AltaVista and AlltheWeb. On February 18, 2004, Yahoo dropped Google-powered results and returned to using its own technology to provide search results.

As of 2005 Yahoo!'s news message boards have gained somewhat of a cult following. Attached to every story is a discussion board, yet rarely are the posts pertinent to the story.

Important events

Please note that this list is merely partial.

Yahoo-owned services

This is a partial list. For a complete listing of the services see List of Yahoo services.

Yahoo! Mail

Yahoo! Messenger

Yahoo! Search

Yahoo! Games

Yahoo! Finance

Yahoo! Groups

Yahoo! Maps

Yahoo! Movies

Yahoo! Movies provides information on current movie theater releases, including showtimes, critical reviews and general popular opinion. It also offers information on a broad library of DVD/Video titles.

Yahoo! Search

Yahoo! TV

Yahoo! TV is an online television listing service. It provides schedules, reviews, and information on television programs being shown throughout the United States and certain countries through the world. Local, cable, broadcast, and satellite listings are supplied, sorted by ZIP Code and provider. The website also serves as a portal for entertainment industry news.

Yahoo! 360

Yahoo! Personals

Yahoo! News

Yahoo! News is an internet-based news service. It features Top Stories, U.S. National, World, Business, Entertainment, Science, Health, Weather, Most Popular, News Photos, Op/Ed, and Local news. Most articles in Yahoo! News comes from Associated Press and Reuters, and numerous other news sources directly or via Yahoo! News.

As of 15 April, 2005, this service is currently in beta.



Yahoo! Launch / LAUNCHCast

Yahoo! Launchis a free music video website provided by Yahoo!. You must have a Yahoo! account to view many of the videos. The account is free, although it requires personal information.

In addition to music videos, Yahoo! Launch also provides a web radio service called Launchcast. This service is available for free; however a paid service with additional features is available.


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See also

External links


Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04