Yahoo surprised the tech world by unveiling Yahoo Axis, a mobile browser that can also be used as a desktop browser plug-in. It instantly provides visual search results, previews of links that enable a quick assessment without having to click through.

Its emphasis, however, is on syncing across all of the various screens a person uses throughout the day. By creating a personalized home page – one of Yahoo’s technological strengths – it coordinates recently visited sites, bookmarks and saved articles that stay consistent regardless of when or where it’s viewed.

“Think of it as a personal companion for your daily explorations of the Web,” according to Ethan Batraski, director of Product Management. “No matter what page you’re on or what you’re doing, you can easily reveal your search results or search for something new – without ever having to leave the page. We are also moving away from the plain ten blue links to give you a richer, more visual search experience by surfacing the page previews of results instantly as you type, letting you see the page before ever clicking on it.”

Yahoo Axis is a combined search and URL entry box, which perches at the bottom of the screen when used as a browser plug-in. The idea is to move search away from being a stand-alone separate destination and instead to integrate it into the overall experience.

From Yahoo’s perspective, it provides the same valuable user data without expecting users to download the intrusive and often disliked Yahoo Toolbar.

Related links:

Yahoo Axis –

Yahoo – blog post

Yahoo Search Blog – Introducing Yahoo! Axis: Searching and Browsing Redefined

Yahoo Mobile Blog – Re-thinking Mobile Browsing – Yahoo! Axis

Search Engine Land – 10 Blue Links Be Gone: Yahoo Axis Offers Browser & Visual Search Experience

AdWeek – Yahoo Unveils New Search Browser

VentureBeat – We’ve seen the killer mobile browser, and you’ll never believe who built it

All Things D – Good Lord, I Might Now Want to Use Yahoo Search Again