Can open source save Yahoo?

Is there an open source vision which would allow Yahoo to renew itself, create new revenue, even prosper? Would a Sun-like turnaround toward an open source vision allow Yahoo a chance at happiness?

Jerry Yang, co-founder, Yahoo
The vultures are circling Yahoo. Or choose your own metaphor.

Here's one co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang might grok. Yahoo has lost the mandate of heaven. (Picture from Wikimedia.)

What caused this? Yahoo's proprietary portal strategy, the idea that it could control what people did online by being the first page they went to, then offering whatever type of page they were seeking.

For a portal strategy to work you need intense customer loyalty. Yahoo had that, briefly, in the late 1990s, based on its search services. Google proved, in this decade, that was the place to focus on. And now that chance is gone.

Microsoft's embrace of Yahoo was based on the idea that its own customers' loyalty -- and it does have loyal customers -- along with its financial heft, might maintain the site's market share.

But that chance, too, is now gone.

So what's left. Perhaps, despite Jeremy Zawodny's landing at Craigslist, open source is left.

By building a cloud business on open source projects like Hadoop, YUI, Grids, and Squid, perhaps Yahoo can reinvent itself.

Amazon did. Why can't Yahoo?

I'm just spitballing here, of course. Is there an open source vision which would allow Yahoo to renew itself, create new revenue, even prosper? Would a Sun-like turnaround toward an open source vision allow Yahoo a chance at happiness?

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