Not a joke: Yahoo! to launch its own web browser tonight [Update]

Yahoo! is a company who has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons the past few weeks after it hired a CEO who lied on his resume. After dealing with that fiasco, the company has a new strategy to stem the losses it has been incurring, create a new web browser.

Yes, Yahoo! is building a browser (called Axis) and it will be shown off really soon, as soon as tonight possibly if the source material is correct.  An email was sent out, not that long ago, that outlines the strategy. Launch.co got their hands on it and you read the entire letter here; pasted below is an excerpt from that memo:

Smarter, Faster Search with Rich Design: Get instant answers and visual previews so you can continuously discover and explore content without interruption. Never leave the page you are on to view your search results again.

Connected Experience: Move seamlessly across devices, picking up wherever you left off as you move across your desktop, iPhone, and iPad. Recently visited sites, searches, saved articles, and bookmarks are automatically accessible across all your devices.

Personal Home Page: Get direct access to your favorite sites and content across all your devices with the customizable Home Page.

While we hesitate to judge a product before we have used it, we really must wonder if this is the correct direction for the company to go down? The browser market is already jammed with competitors from Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Apple, Opera, all of which have tons of cash to burn, unlike Yahoo!.

It’s hard to take this approach seriously as the company seems to be missing the point, it is not the browser that is keeping people away from Yahoo!, its their content and services. By introducing a new browser, they are not fixing the real issue.

The email points users to axis.yahoo.com that contains a video that will “wow, and woo, searchers”, we wish we could say we made that line up.

[Update] Even better, Yahoo! called this a browser in the letter they sent out but as the readers pointed out below, it is really only a plug-in. 

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83 Comments

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I've been thinking: A plug in? To chrome? So...They are using their competitor's product to do stuff I can do without the plug in on the competitor's product which is chrome? *confused*

Will there be a full blown client in the future? Maybe they will fork chromium?

Actually, i really like it. Just downloaded the plugin for chrome and seems like its going to be my default browser on iPad.

Pumi said,
Actually, i really like it. Just downloaded the plugin for chrome and seems like its going to be my default browser on iPad.

Just a tiny problem there. Its not a browser.

Sorry Yahoo, but "Sorry but this video is no longer available" when trying to view the demo video on your Axis page doesn't give a good impression. I'll pass.

Chrome wins hands down. Yahoo, much like AOL, needs to do something else if they want attention. On the other hand maybe a browser from Yahoo WOULD make IE10 look good...

Yea, if I had a year of calling the shots at yahoo... It would be night and day compared to what it is right now, between the horrid mess of their e-mail, chat system, stock system, news system, advertising system etc etc....

They have so much power at their fingertips, but not a single damn person in the business can find the gas pedal.

The fact that their marketing team calls it a browser in the videos shows a strong disconnect in the company, when everyone seems to believe it's a plug-in.

At least it seems like a cool idea though, props for that. But looking at their videos, it makes me feel like it's an Apple search engine. They show it on a Mac, then an iPad, and then an iPhone lol. I wonder if anything, if rumors about Apple dumping Google are true, they might switch to Yahoo! completely (even if the search side is run through Bing) b/c they already use it in the built-in stocks and weather apps. Plus it seems like Yahoo! is always quick to develop iOS apps...

Also, I think Microsoft should consider this too. Yahoo's search engine is still based on Bing, right? Would fit very much their three screen concept.

A plug-in. In a world where browser plug-ins on tablets and other devices are going the way of the do-do. Brilliant. As usual, Yahoo! is 10 steps behind everyone.

On IE10, it says it needs to upgrade my copy of IE before it installs.. Yahoo has IE11 before even Microsoft does.... WOW!

statm1 said,
On IE10, it says it needs to upgrade my copy of IE before it installs.. Yahoo has IE11 before even Microsoft does.... WOW!

IE10 is not official, it wants you to upgrade from 10 to 9. Do it, you might get new features lol

ibsan said,

IE10 is not official, it wants you to upgrade from 10 to 9. Do it, you might get new features lol

It wants you to use a 32bit Internet Explorer. Whilst you're at it, you may as well go turn off your antivirus and firewall too.

ibsan said,

IE10 is not official, it wants you to upgrade from 10 to 9. Do it, you might get new features lol
IE10 isn't official? You mean IE11 doesn't exist either? Breaking news for me....

/s

I typically don't respond to trolls but if Yahoo! calls it a browser who the hell are we to argue with them when we had not seen the product.

bdsams said,
I typically don't respond to trolls but if Yahoo! calls it a browser who the hell are we to argue with them when we had not seen the product.

You know, I'd expect stuff like this from that Callaham guy, but not you Brad. Not you.

BoyBoppins said,

You know, I'd expect stuff like this from that Callaham guy, but not you Brad. Not you.

You wouldn't expect Brad, our Senior Editor, to report accurately? That sounds strange. Brad reported accurately here because Yahoo! referred to their product as a browser. It would have been inaccurate if he hadn't reported on it as a browser.

Unless you meant you wouldn't expect Brad to write that comment you replied to, but as there's nothing wrong with that comment, I suspect you mean the article.

Calum said,

You wouldn't expect Brad, our Senior Editor, to report accurately? That sounds strange. Brad reported accurately here because Yahoo! referred to their product as a browser. It would have been inaccurate if he hadn't reported on it as a browser.

Unless you meant you wouldn't expect Brad to write that comment you replied to, but as there's nothing wrong with that comment, I suspect you mean the article.

No sorry, I wouldnt expect people on this site to know when someone is joking. Funny I voted that attitudes here are the reason it blows.

BoyBoppins said,

No sorry, I wouldnt expect people on this site to know when someone is joking. Funny I voted that attitudes here are the reason it blows.


Surely there was nothing wrong with my attitude in that comment? There was absolutely no indication in your comment that you were joking, as it's very difficult to display jest when using written communication and making those kind of comments, so it's understandable I thought you were being serious. As I thought you were being serious, I politely responded with a rebuttal. What do you believe was wrong with my attitude in that comment?

Although I won't use it I'm glad they are entering the market. More competition is always good and if they come up with a few good ideas they will be copied to the other browsers for all of us to benefit.

I'm confused... this most certainly does in fact appear to be a joke, maybe it's just a typo, should read "Joke: Yahoo! to launch its own web browser tonight"

calimike said,
I can't open .crx format. what download software?

crx is a Chrome extension.
What browser are you running?

If you're running Chrome and it still won't work, then try setting your download path in the settings to the default.
(On Windows, that's your userfolder/Downloads I think, on Macintosh that is your Download stack folder)

GS:mac

Matthew_Thepc said,
TBH, the demo looks pretty cool to me lol, I'll try it for a bit and see how I like it :\

eh, no addons in IE pinned sites, forget it (:

Matthew_Thepc said,
TBH, the demo looks pretty cool to me lol, I'll try it for a bit and see how I like it :\

I actually liked it too. Shame people decide the fate of Yahoo products based on the fact they're not Microsoft or Google.

I'll judge it when I've seen it for myself. I have a feeling Yahoo have their priorities a bit out of kilter here, and as I'm not a great fan of the Yahoo search engine I doubt the browser will appeal to me but out of curiosity I'll probably give it a whirl.

Hahaha. This happens when you want to spur the news out of context. It's an extension as the comments have stated. So time to report it!

M2Ys4U said,
Axis is an extension/plugin on the desktop. Slightly disappointing.

This...
I bet this gets meme'd in no time.

"Announce browser - ship addon"
"Announce car - ship decals & paint job"
"Announce house - ship windows"
etc...

GS:mac

Lol. It's not actually a browser. It's a new toolbar. Ehm sorry, plugin. If you try to 'download' it in Chrome (on http://axis.yahoo.com) it just gives you some .crx file (Chrome plugin) that won't even install (at least not for me). How stupid.

Yahoo, if you want to make a browser, do it properly. My guess is that the iPhone and Android apps are nothing more than lazy ass webviews too. Probably nothing 'browser' about it.

techbeck said,
Why is this even needed. Considering all the problems Yahoo has, this shouldnt even be on their list of things work on.

Microsoft pays companies to use Bing. Yahoo already sold out its place in the search engine market to Bing and now it's trying to work its way into browsers as well.

"Wow, and woo, searchers" makes me think of Futurama

"But he just said 'woo!'"
"No, that was the air escaping from his folds of fat"

Sraf said,
"Wow, and woo, searchers" makes me think of Futurama

"But he just said 'woo!'"
"No, that was the air escaping from his folds of fat"


That quote actually sums up Yahoo rather nicely... LOL

marketZZ said,

meh. because its not made by ur fav microsoft or some other?

Meh, because 1. Yahoo!, and 2. We already have 293785629384127398427938472942398 other browsers out there, only 3 of which people actually use.

warwagon said,

All they would have to do is make it look like Metro and you would love it!


hehe.. well said!! opt comment for the poster.

Dot Matrix said,

Meh, because 1. Yahoo!, and 2. We already have 293785629384127398427938472942398 other browsers out there, only 3 of which people actually use.


Clearly there's never a shortage of stupid comments...

3 Charisma said,
... what is this I don't even

its not actually that bad... I tried it out and it prefeches everything with no ads at all .. it is actually smoother then using google or bing.. I kinda like it.. I could see it being a hit on windows 8