This is immediately massive amounts better. Open up yahoo.com in a new tab, look at it, then look back at this version. The first thing I thought was "yahoo should fire their entire design team and replace them with this guy".
It seems so silly that such a large and well-established company can have a design that I'm sure they spent huge amounts of time on so obviously bested in what I'd assume is a few hours work.
A lot of respect for this: "Finally, we gave the entire page a new main typeface, Proxima Nova. However, it should be noted that the Yahoo! team wouldn’t be able to easily implement this due to technical considerations."
I'd be interested to understand why the Yahoo! design team shipped a layout that seems so clearly inferior to the version Steve's managed to pull together. You'd hope they'd user-tested a bunch of different layout variations, but it's puzzling they've ended up with a homepage that looks so cramped and inconsistent.
It's realistic to a degree. For example, the point about webfonts is great, but then the author goes on to resize the ads without much consideration. Real world isn't that simple unfortunately - you can't just resize the ads Y! sold for thousands of dollars just to fit a layout.
Y! does user test like crazy, so there's probably a lot of reasoning behind the current layout. I look at it as an incremental effort. With Mayer as CEO, I don't think this will be the last homepage redesign. The proposed design by the author would alienate a lot of current visitors (those that have Y! as their homepage). It's just too drastic of a change. Though we all agree the change is for the better, I doubt a lot of current Y! readers would agree.