Reading the reports of what are beleved to be at least several hundred impending Yahoo! layoffs tells me both a lot and a little about the short-to-mid-term future of Yahoo! Voice.
Citing recent, previous statements by Yahoo! execs, The New York Times' Miguel Helft notes the liklihood of continued Yahoo! investment in "areas like Internet search, e-mail, the Yahoo front page and the personalized home-page service MyYahoo, as well as news, finance and sports."
Helft then follows that interpretation with unattributed citations of Yahoo! execs and their views for de-emphasis.
"In recent months, Yahoo said it would phase out or consolidate services like photos, premium music, auctions and Yahoo 360, a largely unsuccessful social network," Helft writes.
No mention of Yahoo! Voice in either the boost, or de-emphasis category.
The first impression I get from this overview of Yahoo!'s priorities is that the company doesn't consider Yahoo! Voice a precious asset with the potential of being a significant financial engine. Nor does Yahoo! consider Yahoo!Voice of being a drag on earnings and corporate mindshare.
Yahoo! had struggled with how to offer a Voice product without competing with its standard telephony partners, while at the same time using Voice to pick up some ancillary revenues.
By giving Voice some gentle promotional pushes instead of an all-get-out marketing/advertising campaign for Voice as a must-have, Yahoo! has found a suitable role for Voice. That'd be as a niche service that is available if you need it.
It seems to me that if Yahoo! does not consider Voice a core nor a negative, offering Yahoo! Voice will continue for the time being as a niche service with not a huge amount of marketing effort.