AOL Takes Page – Literally? – From Yahoo’s Book
Remember Sesame Street and “One of These Things Is Not Like the Other”? If you were to play that game now with the Yahoo and AOL home pages, you might see that one of these things is a lot like the other. In fact, the AOL page, which is only in beta testing, is alleged to be something of a rip-off.
Michael Arrington was among the first to spot the similarities, and the TechCrunch guru also claimed to have overheard some suspicious comments on the matter.
“Nice portal,” Arrington acknowledged of AOL’s effort, “but it is nearly identical to [the] Yahoo home page, which was redesigned last year. . . . Internally, I’m hearing AOLers refer to the new portal as ‘the Yahoo Portal’ although its official name is AOL 3.0.”
David Liu, the senior vice president of the AOL site, defended the resemblance in an interview with internetnews.com’s Andy Patrizio. “I think in this industry there are a lot of elements of portals that are just going to be similar because people have developed them to a point that they are standards,” he said.
Liu’s corporation will, in any event, have some time to modify its home page design (should it choose to) before the thing goes public – BetaNews reported that “[a]pproximately 5 percent of users will see the beta,” and “[t]he new AOL.com is expected to be finalized this summer.”
As a final note, your humble author is hoping this dispute won’t come to resemble a certain case involving Yahoo and Google – although that would offer something in the (non-Sesame Street) way of entertainment.