"Yahoo has announced it will give away the browser-based authentication used in its email service, considered to be the company's 'crown jewel', in a bid to encourage software developers to build new applications based on e-mail".
"Yahoo is a very large company but we can't build every applications that a user might want," a Yahoo representative said in an interview. "You can imagine tens of thousands of niche applications (springing) from Yahoo Mail." "Software developers have traditionally kept careful control of the underlying programming code of their products and allowed outsiders to make only incremental improvements. In recent years, Web developers have opened up that process to encourage outsiders far deeper access to the underlying code. Open applications like Google Maps and Yahoo's own Flickr have inspired a new wave of programming in which developers can combine software features from different companies to create what are known as 'mashups' -- hybrid Web products"
"Yahoo made the announcement ahead of a 24-hour Yahoo Hack Day, where it had invited more than 500 mostly youthful outside programmers to build new applications using Yahoo services. Considering the different needs of its huge user base (257 million people use Yahoo Mail), Yahoo has decided it can't build or buy enough innovation, so they are enlisting the worldwide developer community. The code will be released late in 2006. Yahoo notes that there are 'no security risks' since they keep absolute control of usernames and passwords."
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