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Yahoo CEO unveils handful of new products to big CES crowd

Tuesday, 7 Jan 2014 | 6:45 PM ET

Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer unveiled a handful of new products, including a competitor to Google's predictive search technology for smartphones, in a debut appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show that drew a big crowd.

The former Google executive who took the reins at Yahoo in the summer of 2012, has moved aggressively to revamp the struggling Internet company's business with product makeovers, acquisitions and a renewed focus on its media offerings.

(Read more: Buybacks, Alibaba stake drive Yahoo shares)

Yahoo's services attracted more than 400 million monthly mobile users for the first time last fall, Mayer said, surpassing the 390 million mobile users it announced in October.

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Speaking in a keynote at the annual technology industry gathering in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Mayer announced Yahoo's acquisition of Aviate, a company which makes a smartphone app that automatically brings up relevant information or other apps to suit a user's activity.

"Imagine if your phone can deliver the right experience to you at the right time instead of you having to search for it," Mayer said. "What if your phone suggested music and map apps when you got in your car or fitness apps when you got into the gym?"

(Read more: Yahoo admits some ads on its sites spread malware)

The technology, which Mayer said will be rolled out under the Yahoo banner this year, appears similar to Google Now, which the search giant introduced in 2012.

While Yahoo's revenue growth has yet to pick up under Mayer's leadership, the 38-year-old CEO has brought pizzazz back to an Internet brand considered by many to be past its prime.

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More than an hour before she appeared onstage, a long queue for Mayer snaked through several continuous hallways into a nearby showfloor at the Las Vegas Hilton, where Mayer and other keynote speakers were slated to speak.

During her talk, Mayer was joined onstage by celebrity news anchor Katie Couric, a recent Yahoo hire who will provide original video programs on the website.

(Read more: Yahoo wants to sell you all its old Internet junk)

Yahoo also unveiled new "digital magazines" focused on technology and on food on Tuesday, as well as a mobile app that provides short, summarized versions of the day's news. Yahoo also said it was rolling out improvements to its advertising business, to make it easier for marketers to buy ads and to target different portions of Yahoo's audience.

Shares of Yahoo, which have gained more than 160 percent since Mayer took over in 2012, were up 19 cents at $41.11 in extended trading on Tuesday.

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  • Matt Hunter is the senior technology editor at CNBC.com.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

  • Jon Fortt is an on-air editor. He covers the companies, start-ups, and trends that are driving innovation in the industry.

  • Lipton is CNBC's technology correspondent, working from CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau.

  • Mark is CNBC's Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bureau Chief covering technology and digital media.