Speaking at the ETRE conference yesterday, Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Tim Koogle confirmed rumors that the company had looked into buying Excite before it became ExciteAtHome.
"Excite reached the conclusion that they needed to be bought and yes, they approached us," Koogle said.
Yahoo gave Excite a price range of what it would be willing to spend for the rival portal, Koogle said. "AtHome for reasons that were correct or incorrect was more interested," Koogle said.
"The CFO at Excite told me that (Yahoo) understood their business better than they did," Koogle added. Koogle did not address rumors that merger talks continued after the creation of ExciteAtHome. [See, "Yahoo@Excite@Home? Scary Rumor for Portal Wannabes," Aug. 4.]
Koogle also spoke openly about other aspects of the technology industry, saying that Netscape caused its own failure. "Calling a religious war against Microsoft was a tactical mistake," Koogle said.
Conversely, Yahoo has always been and always will remain platform- and delivery-agnostic, Koogle said.
Koogle said that software application products are evolving into services, with Yahoo being a prime example of a service. "There is a profound shift away from standalone products toward service," Koogle said.
Having begun as a company that used its software to catalog the Web, Yahoo is now a media company that doesn't see itself as a direct competitor with Microsoft, Koogle said.
Yahoo, in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at http://www.yahoo.com.