Services & Software

Yahoo's Bartz touts search, mentions Microsoft

Making her first appearance at an investor conference as Yahoo's CEO, Carol Bartz cites the importance of search and, ever so briefly, addresses her view on Microsoft-Yahoo.

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz has one word for investors attempting to gather any information floating in the wind about whether Yahoo will, or won't, do a deal with Microsoft: chill.

Bartz, speaking Tuesday in San Francisco at her first investor conference since taking the helm as Yahoo CEO more than six weeks ago, relayed the same message she conveyed to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

"I said this to Mr. Ballmer, I will not negotiate with you and 30,000 of my closest friends. I will negotiate privately," said Bartz, adding to investors, "If something happens, you will know about it then." She made her remarks, which were available via audiocast, at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference.

Regardless of any potential Microsoft deal, Bartz was adamant that Yahoo needs to retain access to its search data, because it is key to knowing what its users' intent is when conducting searches. That information assists Yahoo in delivering relevant ads to users, who would then potentially have a greater reason to click on the ad, which would result in a payment to Yahoo from the advertiser.

She noted that Yahoo's top 200 advertisers are looking for the Internet search pioneer to provide a combined one-stop shop of both paid performance ads and display ads.

Bartz added that in delivering the content that users seek, the traffic to Yahoo's sites will grow and advertisers will follow.

Mail is one area she is particularly excited about and noted that the company is gearing up to release a new version of its service.

"We have a billion e-mails passing through our servers every day. Mail is really important to us and that is why I'm excited about a new mail service," Bartz said.

But one area that Yahoo has held back on investing in extensively is Yahoo Maps. Although there is a maps feature on the site, it pales in comparison to the street views and satellite views found on Google.

Noted Bartz: "I don't use Yahoo Maps. I use Google Maps."

Whether Yahoo maps will be a feature Yahoo retains has yet to be seen. There is Yahoo's Wall of Shame, after all. Yahoo products that the company is contemplating fixing or ditching find their way to the wall.