Rod Drury sees the Yahoo!Xtra (what an unwieldy name) tie-up as creating opportunities for other players. He asks:
What does Microsoft do?
The choices are go it alone or tie up with a media company – pick one from TVNZ, TV3, APN or Fairfax. My pick is TVNZ, followed by APN.
What is the homepage transition strategy?
It will be a switch on March 1st – I don’t see MSN and Yahoo! playing well together for a transition. But where will the xtraMSN page redirect to? I believe it will go the the new Yahoo!Xtra page, as MSN seems the junior partner in the current offering, so Xtra most likely controls the domain name.
What gaps result from the Telecom/MS spilt ?
The MSN franchise will be picked up by someone else.
The Hotmail users will now be torn between their ISP’s site and their mail site. No contest there, though personally Yahoo’s offering is far better than MSN’s
What Browser will be pushed?
None – why should Yahoo!Xtra push a particular browser? Only Microsoft has incentive to do that, and I don’t see anything in particular pushed by Yahoo! in Australia or the UK.
What happens with Hotmail/Live in NZ
This is a really good question – all those xtraMSN customers have Hotmail accounts, while Yahoo!Xtra will push Yahoo! accounts. I don’t see a wholesale migration from Hotmail to Yahoo! mail, so as mentioned above half the xtraMSN value will stay with MSN.