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Is Yahoo Mail owned by Microsoft?

Is Yahoo Mail owned by Microsoft?

Microsoft has been on a roll lately. After the release of Windows 10 to widespread acclaim (and some hiccups), its Xbox One console was announced at E3 2015 just two months later, and then it released HoloLens augmented reality headset last week. It’s not all good news though—the big question of who will own Yahoo! when it comes time to merge is still up in the air.

Yahoo is currently one of three core mail services used by millions worldwide. Its competitor Google offers over 1 billion users while Facebook Messenger counts another 100 million people using its chat app each month. Microsoft also runs Hotmail, which only accounts for about 5% of total web-based emails sent daily. The company does have plans to launch an email service named “Hey,” but no official word yet if that’ll be part of this acquisition or eventually replace any existing product lines. 

So what exactly are these companies planning to do with their acquisitions? Is Microsoft going after Yahoo as well as AOL? Or maybe they want to combine them into something else entirely? Let’s take a look at where things stand right now.

Which email service is owned by Microsoft Word?

Hotmail came first back in 1996, although there were several other attempts before that. In 1997, America Online started offering MSN Spaces, followed by Web Connections and Netscape Navigator. Then we had Juno from 1998 -- yes, the same Juno from Office Space -- and finally we got CompuServe Email Gateway in 2000. But none really caught on until 2003 when Microsoft purchased domain name for $4.12 million dollars. This paved the way for the eventual success of Hotmail. That said, it wasn't a smooth transition. As stated above, this happened because of lots of failed experiments. For instance, many users reported receiving spam messages after switching away from Aol Instant Messaging.

In 2014, Microsoft acquired Skype for around $8.5 billion dollars. While most people use Skype today for video calls, it originally launched as an IM platform in 2002. Back then, it focused heavily on text messaging and voice calling. So why would Microsoft need more messaging platforms like WhatsApp or iMessage? Well, it wants to create a unified experience across devices. With Skype, you can make free group chats between your mobile phone and desktop computer, meaning you won’t miss out on important conversations simply because you forgot to check your laptop.

With Cortana, Microsoft's personal digital assistant, you can sync contacts and calendars across different apps including Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and even Snapchat. You could say she’s trying to recreate the Apple ecosystem. And Microsoft already lets you sign in with your account on Android phones too. Allowing users to connect through different networks becomes crucial when creating a seamless user experience. Otherwise, you may find yourself constantly transferring data between different applications, causing confusion and frustration.

But let’s get back to email. When Microsoft bought Skype, it didn’t include the premium subscription-based business offerings, such as Callback and Video Meetings. According to reports, those products will become available under the SkyDrive brand once Microsoft officially takes ownership. However, it seems unlikely that these features will ever be offered outside of SkyDrive, so don’t expect to receive a new version anytime soon.

As far as I know, the biggest challenge Microsoft faces here is convincing consumers that they should trust it more than other tech giants. Most people aren’t familiar with the inner workings of Skype, and they certainly haven’t heard of Cortana. Even less likely are they aware of Bing search engines. In short, Microsoft needs to build popularity among everyday folk if it hopes to succeed.

On top of that, its competitors seem to be doing pretty OK without integrating third party services, especially since most people rely primarily on Gmail. If anything, their focus appears to be making their standalone products better rather than merging everything together.

Is Microsoft owner of Yahoo?

After years of rumors, Microsoft actually confirmed that it intends to acquire Yahoo’s operating assets in early 2016. Although they plan to keep both brands separate, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hinted that he sees synergy between the two companies. He told Reuters, "I think the combination of our strengths is very powerful."

The deal hasn’t received much attention yet, mainly due to the fact that it doesn’t happen until next year. Plus, it'll probably take awhile to wrap things up since regulatory authorities will need to approve the sale. Furthermore, the price tag remains unclear. Some estimates put it as high as $44 billion, while others say it might reach closer to $19 billion. At least we know it’ll definitely cost more money than the purchase of LinkedIn for $26 per share.

It's safe to assume that a merger between these two major players would bring some serious changes. Both Yahoo and Microsoft operate massive adtech businesses, meaning they’re able to show ads based on consumer behavior. They're also known for being pioneers in developing machine learning algorithms that help websites serve content tailored specifically to your interests. Additionally, they run huge cloud computing operations, allowing them to provide services 24/7. By hooking up their infrastructure, they could offer increased reliability and speed.

And speaking of reliability, their online portals tend to perform quite well overall. According to metrics monitor site Quantcast, Yahoo scored 3 stars on scale of 1 - 5, whereas Google's score sits at 4.6. On the flip side, the average rating for Microsoft's services is 2.1, compared to Yahoo's 2.9.

However, there are downsides to consider. First off, Microsoft is notorious for acquiring software developers instead of engineers. Therefore, it typically creates products that feel similar to ones made by Redmond itself. Second, although Microsoft makes great games, it tends to prioritize cross-platform play over exclusive titles. Since Yahoo specializes exclusively in publishing media, it’d force Microsoft to give up some exclusives in order to gain access to Yahoo’s portfolio. Lastly, Microsoft and Yahoo are fierce rivals in terms of advertising. Their main competition lies within Alphabet Inc., whose DoubleClick unit powers display ads on sites like YouTube, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail.

Still, it’s hard to deny that consolidation brings benefits. We’ve seen countless mergers throughout history — combining NBCUniversal with Comcast, Viacom and CBS, Time Warner and AT&T, etc. — and almost every single scenario ends up improving quality. Besides, it’s clear that neither Mayer nor Nadella want to go down the path of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his recent moves toward decentralization. Instead, they prefer taking smaller steps towards greater unification.

Besides, consolidating power gives Microsoft room to expand further. Last week, The Wall Street Journal revealed that Microsoft is interested in launching an internet television network alongside Netflix. To me, that sounds amazing. Imagine binge watching TV shows on demand, with additional perks such as DVR capabilities, live streaming, and the ability to pause episodes whenever you please. Now imagine you can watch it anywhere in the world thanks to IPTV technology. Yeah, I'd pay for that kind of service.

Who owns Yahoo now?

Well, nobody knows for sure at the moment. However, according to CNBC, it’s possible that Yahoo shareholders will get a special dividend worth $40.50 per share in lieu of cash compensation following the completion of the transaction.

If that happens, Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang will remain on board as Chief Advisor and Yahoos current CFO Ken Cheng will stay in place. Meanwhile, former Tumblr chief David Karp will reportedly join Microsoft as head of engineering. Speaking of which...

When did Microsoft buy Yahoo?

That answer is complicated. Technically, Microsoft took full ownership of Yahoo on July 31st, 2005. However, it didn’t start running day-to-day operations until Dec. 7th, 2006. Before that date, Yahoo executives continued working behind closed doors. They weren’t allowed to talk publicly and employees weren’t informed either.

Nowadays, Microsoft holds a majority stake in Yahoo. In 2013, the company sold shares in Alibaba Group Holding Limited for around $41 billion. And in 2015, Verizon Communications agreed to pay $4.83 billion for Yahoo’s remaining stake in China’s largest ecommerce website, giving Microsoft a controlling interest.

Yahoo has been the dominant web mail provider since 1994. It’s also one of the largest providers of online advertising services. But it was recently overtaken as most popular webmail provider (by Google) and ad-server (by Facebook).

That may be changing very quickly with a brand new startup that wants to take on big tech giants like Google or Apple. The name of this upstart email service is Hey. And its founder thinks he can do better than anyone else out there. He even claims his product will soon “take over your digital life entirely.”

I have no idea if that’ll happen. But I am intrigued about what this startup might bring—and why so many people are questioning whether their current favorite email client really belongs to any single company.

What company is Yahoo owned by?

It depends who you ask.

When it comes down to corporate ownership, things get murky pretty fast. There are two main contenders here: Verizon and AT&T. Both companies own huge stakes in each other through cross-ownership arrangements. So let’s start there, because they seem more relevant right now.

Verizon holds an almost 40 percent stake in Yahoo! Inc., while AT&T controls around 33 percent of Yahoo shares. Together, those numbers mean that Verizon and AT&T together account for 80 percent of all outstanding stock in Yahoo. That makes them true co-parenting partners. They both have veto power over major decisions at Yahoo.

But according to some experts, these aren’t actually full owners. In fact, they don’t hold 100 percent of the voting rights either. According to Bloomberg Law, only the minority shareholders actually vote on important matters such as executive compensation packages and dividend payouts. If enough shareholders agree, however, then the majority owner can make changes without consulting the rest of the board members.

So does that mean Yahoo is totally independent from Verizon and AT&T? Not necessarily. Even though the founders of Yahoo claim otherwise in public statements, it seems unlikely that the CEO would ever step down voluntarily. After all, Mayer joined Yahoo after being recruited away from her previous job at Google. She probably wouldn't want to leave the day-to-day running of the business back to someone outside Yahoo's walls. Plus, she'd likely need approval from her bosses first.

Then again, maybe she doesn't care about that kind of stuff anymore. Who knows. As long as Mayer keeps getting paid well, we'll never know.

The bottom line is this: We're not sure exactly which set of corporations control Yahoo today, but it's definitely not just Verizon and AT&T.

Which company owns Yahoo?

There were rumors earlier this year that Amazon had acquired Yahoo’s core search engine technology. Those reports turned out to be false. However, Amazon did buy into another part of Yahoo: AQuantium, a patent licensing firm based in Silicon Valley. This deal happened before Mayer took office, so she wasn’t involved.

In 2014, Yahoo announced plans to sell off its prized real estate assets, including its data centers. At least half of these properties have already sold off. Then last month, Verizon bought AOL, which includes Yahoo’s old domain names. Again, none of these deals involve Mayer directly.

This brings us to our next contender---Microsoft. Yes, Microsoft. You remember Microsoft. The software giant founded way back in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. It’s best known for making Windows operating systems and Office productivity suites. But lately, it’s become synonymous with cloud computing and enterprise solutions.

If you look closely, you’d notice that Microsoft owns quite a few pieces of Yahoo. Most notable among them is Bing, formerly known as MSN Search. When you type into the address bar of your browser nowadays, chances are you’re hitting results powered by Bing instead of Yahoo.

Another key piece of hardware under Microsoft’s umbrella is Xobni, once valued at $400 million. Nowadays, Microsoft uses it mostly for spam filtering features inside

Also worth noting is LinkedIn, which Microsoft purchased in 2016. Since then, LinkedIn has started offering free mobile messaging apps similar to WhatsApp and Signal. These products allow users to connect remotely via text message rather than using the traditional phone calls and texts.

Finally, there’s Skype. Remember Skype? It used to be a standalone app that allowed video chats between computers worldwide. Today, the platform serves as an essential tool for telecommuting workers.

Skype itself became part of Microsoft in 2011 when Microsoft acquired the Swedish voice chat application Jarte. All told, Skype is made up of eight different acquisitions dating back to 2007. So’s hard to say where Microsoft’s interest ends with Yahoo.

At this point, it looks like Microsoft is the closest thing to a parent company for Yahoo. Of course, it hasn’t been able to fully swallow the whole pie yet. No matter how much money Microsoft throws at Yahoo, its share remains relatively small compared to the overall market cap. Still, the acquisition appears inevitable.

Does Yahoo company still exist?

You betcha.

While the bulk of Yahoo’s operations have shifted to Redmond, Washington, nearly every division within the company continues to operate independently. For example, Yahoo Weather is run by meteorologists who work in New York City. Likewise, Yahoo Finance is headed by analysts working in London.

Some parts of the business have grown larger, though. Take Flickr, for instance. Last week, the photo sharing site surpassed 400 million registered accounts. And Tumblr is currently growing at twice the rate of Twitter.

None of these entities are officially related to Yahoo proper. Instead, they’ve formed separate subsidiaries under the same umbrella. But the spirit of independence lives on.

One telling sign came during the recent sale of Yahoo Japan. The Japanese subsidiary wanted to spin off into a separate entity. Yet due to antitrust laws, the move required regulatory approvals from multiple parties across three countries. Only one of those governments approved the separation.

Mayer herself said this decision shows that Yahoo "isn’t broken." While it’s easy to criticize the exec for sticking to the status quo, there’s nothing wrong with holding onto certain aspects of the business until regulators give the OK.

As far as Mayer goes, it’s unclear what role she played in the latest shakeup of Yahoo's leadership structure. Reports claimed that she tried to block former CFO Tim Morse' s ascension to CEO. Other sources suggested that she didn’t support Scott Thompson taking over the helm. What’s clear is that Mayer eventually gave up her direct involvement in Yahoo’s internal politics.

By contrast, Marissa Meyer left HP after less than five years as president. Her ouster followed months of speculation regarding her future employment prospects. Meanwhile, Mark Hurd resigned as Oracle chairman after accusations of sexual harassment. His downfall occurred despite having worked at the company for 24 years prior to stepping down.

Is Yahoo now Microsoft?

Not exactly.

Despite everything we discussed above, Mayer technically still runs Yahoo. Sure, she handed off most of her responsibilities to other executives, but she’s still responsible for strategic planning and policy.

And unless something crazy happens, Yahoo won’t change anytime soon. Why? Because the company has too much invested in existing infrastructure. Its revenue streams depend heavily on ads served by third party vendors. Selling out to a bigger player could destabilize Yahoo financially.

More importantly, Mayer’s exit strategy revolves around keeping the company alive for several years longer. During that time, she hopes to transform Yahoo into a profitable asset that generates cash flow for investors.

She believes this transformation can occur even as Yahoo shrinks in size. With fewer employees, the number of administrative tasks should decrease dramatically. This means that Yahoo can focus more attention on its core competencies, namely research and engineering.

We’ll see if Mayer gets her wish. Time will tell. Until then, Yahoo is still effectively controlled by a handful of large corporations. Whether that arrangement benefits consumers ultimately boils down to user experience.

Maybe that's why so many people are asking whether Yahoo Mail is really owned by anyone in particular. Is it possible that there’s no one controlling it? Or perhaps there are dozens of smaller players competing for dominance? Either way, the question feels pertinent today.

Hey offers free unlimited email along with optional premium perks. On top of that, it promises complete privacy and customization options. It claims to offer smart AI filters designed to keep junk emails out of your inbox. Lastly, Hey allows users to choose whether they want to receive messages from specific senders.

For comparison purposes, Gmail gives you 15GB of space for free. Hotmail/Live lets you store 50MB per mailbox. Yahoo Mail costs extra starting at €9 ($11) per month.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Microsoft's acquisition of Skype earlier this month has been met with a mix of excitement, dread, and confusion. Most people are happy that Microsoft purchased one of our favorite apps, while others worry about what it means for their privacy or whether they'll lose features like video calls.

But many don't know who owns Yahoo — which also happens to be an investor in Skype. After all, if you've ever logged into your Hotmail account on Windows 10, you may have noticed something odd: It looks strikingly similar to the login screen for Yahoo mail. Here's why.

Is Yahoo email part of Microsoft?

The answer is yes! The two companies own different parts of the same company, so things get confusing quickly when talking about them separately. To make matters more complicated, both services use slightly different names for the same thing (Outlook vs. Office) and operate under different umbrella brands (Hotmail/LiveMail vs. OneDrive).

In short, there's not much separating these products at a user level aside from maybe some extra bloat here and there. However, because of corporate ownership, the differences can become quite apparent when looking at where each product falls within Microsoft as a whole. Let's take a look at the details.

Office 365 subscribers receive access to online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access, along with 1TB of storage space per file. This suite of programs is known as "OneNote," even though only three of those four applications actually support the app right now. In other words, OneNote exists mostly as branding.

Meanwhile, Skype users gain access to group video chats across platforms including iOS, Android, Mac, PC, Linux, and web browsers. They're often referred to as "Skypes" instead of Skype, and sometimes just plain old Skype, depending on context. If you use Skype on multiple devices, that might cause issues since its name doesn't sync nicely between computers.

Now let's talk about Hotmail, formerly LiveMail. As mentioned above, Hotmail was once branded as such, but that changed back in 2014 after acquiring MSN Messenger. Nowadays, most people probably think of it as simply Like Microsoft Office 365, Hotmail used to offer unlimited messages and attachments—now, however, it caps out at 200MB unless you pay for additional plans.

Finally, let's discuss Yahoo Mail. Contrary to popular belief, Yahoo hasn't had any involvement whatsoever in creating either or Hotmail. Instead, Yahoo Mail got rolled into another brand-new product called Yahoo Web Mail last year. Before then, it was still running independently as Yahoo Mail.

So far, none of these products seem too related to one another. But wait—what happened to Yahoo Mail anyway? That's a good question...and one worth exploring further below.

Is Yahoo connected to Microsoft?

As previously noted, Yahoo hasn't played an active role in developing any of Microsoft's recent acquisitions. And yet, despite the fact that Yahoo Mail appears alongside Hotmail on Windows 10, Yahoo technically still runs the show over at Yahoo Labs. Yes, Yahoo employees work directly on making Yahoo Mail better, but the current version of Yahoo Mail wouldn't exist without help from engineers at Microsoft.

For example, Microsoft introduced custom code to fix compatibility problems with certain browser extensions. More recently, Microsoft helped improve security protocols to prevent hackers from gaining unauthorized access. On top of that, a team led by former Google engineer Daniel Russell worked closely with Yahoo developers throughout 2016 to enhance the overall Yahoo Mail experience.

To sum up, Yahoo has an official relationship with Microsoft through a subsidiary located in Sunnyvale, California. While Yahoo Mail itself technically belongs to Yahoo, it would never run properly without input from Microsoft.

What is the difference between Microsoft Outlook and Yahoo Mail?

When comparing Yahoo Mail versus Outlook, you should keep in mind that neither product is necessarily bad. Rather, they differ primarily based on personal preference and design choices made during development. For instance, Outlook offers a wider selection of themes than Yahoo Mail.

On the flip side, Outlook makes it easier to find folders using search tools whereas Yahoo Mail leaves room for browsing inboxes chronologically rather than hierarchically. Both options have pros and cons, and you could argue that no single approach is objectively superior to the other.

And speaking of Yahoo Mail specifically, we'd say that it's missing some key features that newer competitors excel at. Chief among those is the ability to create templates for frequent emails. With Yahoo Mail, you can do everything from add signatures to automatically insert dates and times, but you can't easily set up automatic replies. You can, however, customize templates elsewhere, but doing so requires several steps.

Another notable absence is built-in calendar integration. Calendar functions aren't available anywhere else either. Lastly, Yahoo Mail lacks threaded conversations. When replying to an individual message, you must type a reply underneath the original text.

These shortcomings are particularly frustrating considering that Yahoo Mail offered free 2GB of cloud storage long before Dropbox did. At least Yahoo lets you download archived copies of messages and attachments, although that option disappears after 30 days. Meanwhile, competing services like iCloud allow you to store files indefinitely.

Who does Yahoo Mail belong to?

Yahoo Mail officially launched back in 2004, but its roots go way deeper than that. Its origins date back to 1997 thanks to CEO Jerry Yang and his partner David Filo, founders of early internet giant Inc. Back then, they were building a messaging system named Yahooligans. Yahoo eventually acquired the company in 1998.

Yang stepped down as CEO in 2013, but he remained chairman until 2015. He left entirely in January 2017 due to health reasons unrelated to Yahoo. His replacement, Marissa Mayer, came from the ranks of Google and became chief executive officer in 2012. She later stepped down from her position as well in May 2018. A few months later, she announced she was leaving the company altogether.

After Mayer departed, she took Yahoo public on August 7th, 2018. Then, following reports that investors weren't thrilled with the prospect of giving millions in stock awards to executives they didn't trust anymore, Yahoo began selling off pieces of itself. Amongst them were stakes in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Hulu LLC, Motorola Mobility Holdings Corp., Nestle S.A., Oath Inc., PayPal Holdings PLC, Reddit AMABITCO Ventures ITA Technology Partners LLP, Tumblr Media Limited Partnership, Viacom Global Entertainment Networks Inc., and Yahoo Japan Co., Ltd..

Mayer reportedly sold $7 billion worth of shares, meaning that roughly half of Yahoo's value disappeared overnight. According to Bloomberg News, shareholders received 0.6 percent of Yahoo common stock for every dollar invested. Some lucky folks ended up with shares valued at around $0.10 apiece. Others saw their investments wiped out completely.

All told, Yahoo's sale amounted to a loss of billions of dollars. Not exactly ideal when you consider Yahoo had already taken tens of billions of dollars in revenue losses prior to the latest round of sales.

It's clear that, regardless of whose money funded its creation, Yahoo Mail wasn't going away anytime soon. So why bother trying to compete against newcomers like Gmail, Apple Mail, or ProtonMail? Because Yahoo Mail is home to some great legacy features. Namely, it's incredibly easy to navigate, supports tons of customization options, and provides plenty of ways to discover content that interests you.



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