Ever since Marissa Mayer left Google and took over Yahoo, she has worked hard to turn Yahoo into everything her former employer was not: lean and focused. This has caused her to shed products, time and again, in an effort to bring the company down to the core content offering and the products that support it. In the past, most of the products that have been lost have been consumer-facing, legacy products.
This week, the company took a new tact, closing up a number of developer-focused offerings, many of which were also legacy. All but one of the closures were expected, with one being a surprise, but not a shock. The surprise was the closure of Yahoo Maps, a platform that developers relied heavily on in years past, but has been phased out by most in favor of Bing, HERE or Google mapping services. The fact that the current iteration of Yahoo Maps is powered by HERE is a great reason to avoid it and go directly to the source. In addition, the user interface for the consumer-side of the product leaves much to be desired. The service will be retired at the end of the month.
Another product going away is Yahoo Pipes. Based on a UNIX concept, Pipes were designed to create web-based widgets from existing data. As most things inspired from UNIX, the system wasn't terribly easy to use and has been easily replaced by more modern technologies. In this case, jQuery UI has the ability to do most of what Pipes did, all without having to rely on another company's code or server availability. The service will go into read-only mode on August 30, with shutdown scheduled for September 30.
Also on the list are GeoPlanet and PlaceSpotter. These two APIs provide data for helping to merge the digital and physical worlds through permanent physical location data, etc. These direct APIs were actually replaced by the Yahoo Query Language and Yahoo BOSS. In this case, the data is not being retired, only the old ways of accessing it. This is purely a consolidation of internal development efforts. These older APIs will vanish sometime in Q3.
The company will also be shuttering access to their servers from older technology, specifically the unpatched older Apple software, which likely still has the decade's old SSL bypass bug. This is simply a precaution for the few devices that might still exist in the wild running iOS versions prior to 5 and Mac OS X prior to 10.8. There are also a slue of regional sites being closed, many being redirected to other regions.read more...