I just came across this article and wanted to blog about it, since it highlights the differences between Yahoo! and Google in terms of engineering and development. This was something I experienced firsthand interviewing at both companies, and it’s nice to have an article to point people to when they ask me about the differences.
The bottom line for an engineer is which system you’re most comfortable contributing in. The bottom line for consumers is which makes your life easier. Yahoo! has a huge user base that Google covets right now. Part of the problem with Google’s products, I believe, is that they only seem to appeal to early adopters and web tech geeks who want to steal their code (you know you do it!). Gmail and Google Maps are both good products, but there’s no value proposition that would make consumers switch from another service other than “it’s cool.” I fear this is also the case with some of Yahoo!’s acquisitions, such as Flickr and del.icio.us. Time will tell.