Yahoo’s New CPO Loves His Mac

You might have worked for the company for a decade, but that doesn’t mean you will get a new cappuccino machine. It does mean that you get a new ID card, that says you have worked for the company for 10 years, and it also means you get a new gig. Ash Patel, the senior VP of engineering and the “OG” Yahooligan is going to be the new chief product officer, replacing current CPO Geoff Ralston, who is taking off for parts unknown.

I came across this little exclusive tidbit when visiting with Yahoo Communication Team that is having an offsite at The Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay. (They got to see a brown man blush, but I shall leave that story for another day.) I sat next to Ash, and got into a spirited discussion about why Yahoo is really all about My.Yahoo.Com. My contention is that forget search, because Yahoo has something better than that.

My.Yahoo.Com is no longer a portal page, but instead an “attention page” which can be and should be leveraged to become the aggregator site for complicated digital life. Ash, who spent a lot of time on that particular page – building it I mean – agreed.

But then I harped about how Mac-unfriendly Yahoo was and it needed to change that. Not true, I was told. Brad Garlinghouse, Yahoo’s in-house VoIP guru confirmed what my buddy Andy had reported earlier: Yahoo is pretty close to putting finishing touches on their Mac Communicator (aka YIM) client, which should be able to meet the high standards of the Mac community. Still, as we talked geek, Ash pointed out that he had five computers, all PCs and he found that he was spending an increasing amount of time just making them work.

If he was feeling that the world dominating OS platform was too much, just imagine the frustration of well, who are technically challenged. Patel said that he just wanted a laptop, that would simply wake-up when he flipped it open. So he went and got himself a nice little Powerbook. A few days later, he took off for vacation. Instead of his Thinkpad, he took his PowerBook. VPN and Entourage, ensured that he was picking up his Exchange email. A week later, he had seen the light. I hope this new convert ensures more attention to the Mac platform.

I think this is actually a big step forward: as more and more Silicon Valley big-guns start to use Mac, there will be a new impetus to do apps for Mac platform. I have not always been a Mac user, but yes, once you pay the Steve-Tax, you know you can focus on the work, and not the computer. I think folks at Apple should simply send Powerbooks to the top 50 CEOs and CTOs in the Valley, and see what happens. One hour of Pixar DVD sales should cover that cost!

But back to Yahoo…. I also over heard that Yahoo2Go will soon be supporting SyncML, which means more phones are likely to come into the fold than current five or so.