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Quick Hits: Yahoo Asks, Who's BOSS?

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Brief scrutiny of today's headlines

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Do you Yahoo (YHOO)?

Now, any website can: Out of the goodness of their hearts -- or in a blatant attempt to slow its ongoing corporate freefall -- Yahoo has begun offering their search toolkit to other sites.

The new indexing service, catchily named BOSS (for Build Your Own Search), purports to save other firms the $300 million cost of building an original internal search engine. In return, Yahoo will run its own ads alongside search results.

According to Yahoo's chief strategist for search, the "goal is to disrupt the search market and allow more entrants to come in." The implication is clear: The guys at Yahoo aren't going to let Google (GOOG) continue to leave them in the dust.

Of course, Yahoo has also decided to allow its technologically superior rival to sell advertising on its own website. But it sounded impressive, didn't it?

So far, two whole websites have signed on to use BOSS - a figure unlikely to soothe investors still outraged by CEO Jerry Yang's rejection of Microsoft's (MSFT) $47.5 billion buyout offer.

That executive acronym sounds like wishful thinking, coming from Yahoo: If business doesn't pick up before August 1st, when shareholders vote on Carl Icahn's takeover bid, boss Yang and his board will find themselves out of a job.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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