Microsoft’s long-term relationship with Yahoo could come to an end sooner than expected, as Marissa Mayer, Yahoo!’s CEO, has held talks with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, on a future collaboration involving a new search engine.
writes that Yahoo! plans to dump Microsoft and adopt Facebook’s upcoming search engine, in an attempt to challenge Mountain View-based search giant Google.
Yahoo! is already working with Facebook on several projects, including the news service that provides sharing options for the famous social network platform, so this new agreement would only expand the collaboration between the two companies.
Yahoo! and Microsoft, on the other hand, have signed a deal in 2009 to implement the Bing search engine into Yahoo!’s search results, allowing the Sunnyvale-based company to focus on selling ads.
The partnership, however, was formed before Marissa Mayer, a previous Google executive, joined Yahoo!, so the company is now looking into ways to break the 10-year contract it has with Microsoft.
The main reason for Yahoo! looking for another search provider is the overall performance of Microsoft’s Bing
, which still struggles to compete with Google’s search engine.
Bing was believed to be a much more powerful rival for Google, but Facebook’s new search technology is expected to play a much more important role in the search engine industry.
Yahoo! doesn’t have the resources to develop its own search technology, although it was once one of the key companies in this particular industry sector. The company now prefers to focus on a different business, while implementing a search engine provided by another firm.
Officials of the three companies are yet to comment on the matter, but rumors are very likely to be true, as Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, has already confirmed a search engine project. Facebook “is pretty uniquely positioned to answer the questions people have,” he said.