Microsoft and Yahoo: Comparing the APIs

John Musser
Feb. 11 2008, 11:58PM EST

Now that Microsoft has responded to Yahoo's initial rejection of their offer it looks like this story isn't over yet. Whether or not this deal goes through, it's worth noting that both of these companies take developing open web APIs as a key part of their strategy going forward (even in the midst of the talks last week Yahoo released their Yahoo Live API). Overall Yahoo has 28 open web APIs and Microsoft has 22 open web APIs. This means that between them there are 50 APIs. Of course there's overlap and given the technical challenges it's not easy to combine platforms (ex: look at how Flickr and delicious APIs at Yahoo retain their own flavor). To give a sense of comparison the following table gives you an overview of how the APIs currently stack up:

Category Microsoft Yahoo
Advertising Microsoft adCenter Yahoo Search Marketing
Yahoo Ads
Answers Yahoo Answers
Yahoo Related Suggestions
Blogging Windows Live Spaces
Chat MSN Messenger
Windows Live Messenger IM Control
Yahoo Messenger
Contacts Windows Live Contacts Control
Windows Live Contacts
Email Yahoo Mail
Mapping Microsoft MapPointMicrosoft Virtual Earth Yahoo Maps
Yahoo Map Image
Yahoo Geocoding
Media Search Yahoo Image SearchYahoo Video Search
Mobile Yahoo Mobile Widget Platform
Music Yahoo Music Engine
Yahoo Audio Search
Photos Windows Live Spaces Photo Control
Windows Live Spaces Photo
Flickr
Presence Windows Live Presence
Reference Microsoft MSDN
Search Windows Live Search Yahoo Search
Yahoo My Web Search
Yahoo Site Explorer
Yahoo Local Search
Security and Identity Windows Live ID Web Authentication
Windows Live ID Client SDK
Windows Live Data
Yahoo BBauth
Semantic Search Yahoo Term Extraction
Shopping Windows Live Expo Yahoo Shopping
Site Admin Windows Live Admin Center
Social MyBlogLog
Streaming Media Microsoft Silverlight Streaming
Traffic Yahoo Traffic
Travel Yahoo Travel
Video Yahoo Live
Widgets Windows Live Gadgets
Windows Sidebar Gadgets
Yahoo Widgets
John Musser

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Comments(7)

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[...] Microsoft and Yahoo: Comparing the APIs | Great comparison on a category by category basis. It makes clear the overlap in product range and if the merger does go through, clearly somethings will have to phased out. As long as this is done on the what is the &#8220;best&#8221; option then that&#8217;s fine - assuming best means the same for everyone. Choice is a great thing. &nbsp; [...]

Hello, I noticed an error with your post when I glanced over it in my feed reader, and confirmed its cause by viewing the source of your page...

For your list of APIs in each category, the URLs you use are relative URLs whose structure is something like "/api/api-name-here/". That's fine if people are reading you entry on your site, but if they're reading it through a feed reader, the URL becomes broken, because it's pointing at a location on the feed reader's domain that doesn't exist. In my case, all of your URLs link to "http://beta.bloglines.com/api/api-name-here".

Hope this helps and leads to a quick fix!

Best,
Jay

dara

In my personal opinion, the only one of Microsoft's web-based programs worth anything is MSN Messenger. I've never heard of anyone using the other things. Makes me nervous that if a merger did happen, Microsoft would handle Yahoo!'s web-based services just as lousily.