Yahoo's SearchMonkey, BOSS efforts likely to die on the vine

Yahoo's SearchMonkey, BOSS efforts likely to die on the vine

Summary: Microsoft execs say that they may be open to Yahoo search technologies such as SearchMonkey and BOSS (Build your Own Search Service). Yahoo acknowledges it has nothing concrete to say about the future of SearchMonkey and BOSS.

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Microsoft execs say that they may be open to Yahoo search technologies such as SearchMonkey and BOSS (Build your Own Search Service). Yahoo acknowledges it has nothing concrete to say about the future of SearchMonkey and BOSS. What's a developer to do?

Try walking away.

Welcome to the wonderful world of limbo. Once the fireworks from the Microsoft-Yahoo search pact (Techmeme) clear you're left with a lot of waiting. First, there's the regulatory wait. Will regulators even approve the deal? And then there's 2 year implementation. Fast forward to 2012 and the Microsoft-Yahoo search master plan will be complete.

That's a long time for any developer to hang on without any clear direction. Why would you mess with SearchMonkey or BOSS with so much uncertainty?

Yahoo notes on its developer blog:

For SearchMonkey and BOSS, we currently do not have anything concrete to tell you. Clearly, we’ll need to work with Microsoft to determine what makes the most sense for you and for us.

In another message to developers, Yahoo notes:

What specifically does it mean for BOSS? Honestly the team is still absorbing the implications and we just don't know. We can tell you that BOSS will remain live for the time being.

CNet News' Ina Fried quotes Microsoft senior vice president Yusuf Mehdi saying the software giant may be interested in SearchMonkey and BOSS.

Mary Jo Foley reports:

“Until we can look at the (Yahoo search) code and understand it, we can’t say specifically yet” what we intend to do, Mehdi said. But it’s more likely that Microsoft will be looking to make use of some of Yahoo’s peripheral search technologies and projects, like BOSS (Build Your Own Search Service) and Search Monkey, rather than doing any major shifts of algorithmic vision with Bing, he seemed to indicate.

Here's the risk: There's a lot of developer angst in a big maybe. Maybe SearchMonkey and BOSS continue and developer efforts will get a wider audience. Maybe they won't. In either case, developers may have to wait months for any clarity (if they're lucky). Meanwhile, search innovation will continue.

What'll happen? All this uncertainty will mean that SearchMonkey and BOSS lose steam before Microsoft and Yahoo even get to make a call. Simply put, developers have no shortage of work to do and they sure don't need to stick around for two years waiting for clarity.

More reading:

Microsoft-Yahoo: Gauging the IT integration risks

Topics: Software Development, Microsoft, Social Enterprise

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2 comments
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  • Continue the march toward a more semantic web

    My hope is that they incorporate some of the great RDFa integration SearchMonkey has implemented, especially the support for the GoodRelations commerce ontology.
    jmyers@...
  • RE: Yahoo's SearchMonkey, BOSS efforts likely to die on the vine

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