MSFT to YHOO?

Yahoo is up on rumors that Microsoft is wanting to buy it. Something to ponder as I travel to Mexico with Maryam today. Of course that is getting covered from all angles on TechMeme. I’m speaking at the Forbes Online Brand Management forum. I’m not being paid (they paid my travel expenses, but Maryam’s paying her own way down there). No link blogging or regular blogging until Tuesday (I’m going to a BEA thing on Tuesday in Atlanta, though, so not even sure I’ll be back until Thursday next week — too much traveling in my life).

UPDATE: it’s funny that Microsoft could end up paying a LOT more for Flickr and Del.icio.us than it would have paid if they had bought those when I told Gates to buy those. Sigh.

Comments

  1. I would not stop using Yahoo if MS bought it. I would love it even more. Especially with this new Silverlight stuff.

    I just hope MS stock continues up!!!!

  2. I would not stop using Yahoo if MS bought it. I would love it even more. Especially with this new Silverlight stuff.

    I just hope MS stock continues up!!!!

  3. Billg: Ya know there a lot of people out there who don’t work in the tech industry or spend there days debating the evil of msft or which company is more innovative. A LOT more people. I’m amazed how technophiles feel THEY are the public.

  4. Billg: Ya know there a lot of people out there who don’t work in the tech industry or spend there days debating the evil of msft or which company is more innovative. A LOT more people. I’m amazed how technophiles feel THEY are the public.

  5. I agree with you. You’re much smarter than Gates. If he only listened to you he’d be much more successful. Too bad for him.

  6. I agree with you. You’re much smarter than Gates. If he only listened to you he’d be much more successful. Too bad for him.

  7. Now we’ll be able to go to msn.com or live.com or yahoo.com or alltheweb.com or altavista.com for search.
    There could be a master search page for the Microhoo search properties. :)

    Munir: Scoble works because he does things which are against the norm. When his stuff starts becoming the norm, he moves on to newer ones. But when something doesn’t become the norm, he latches on to it (like his gates story).

  8. Now we’ll be able to go to msn.com or live.com or yahoo.com or alltheweb.com or altavista.com for search.
    There could be a master search page for the Microhoo search properties. :)

    Munir: Scoble works because he does things which are against the norm. When his stuff starts becoming the norm, he moves on to newer ones. But when something doesn’t become the norm, he latches on to it (like his gates story).

  9. Uh… I don’t think MS is interested in purchasing Flickr and Del.icio.us for the reported pricetag. They’re interested in purchasing Yahoo! And I’m very skeptical that the reason they are interested involves Flickr or Del.icio.us in any way.

  10. Uh… I don’t think MS is interested in purchasing Flickr and Del.icio.us for the reported pricetag. They’re interested in purchasing Yahoo! And I’m very skeptical that the reason they are interested involves Flickr or Del.icio.us in any way.

  11. Microsoft Looking to Purchase Yahoo!

    Speaking of Yahoo!, according to the New York Post, Microsoft is considering acquiring Yahoo! in what could be a $50 billion deal. Well that certainly would mix things up a bit. Wall Street likes the idea, …

  12. Well it will certainly save me a lot of trouble instead of venting my spleen on the companies individually I can just pick on Yahsoft, or will it me Microhoo?

    Both are companies that got too comfortable with their leadership positions and forgot (I think permanently) how to look at their products from a customer perspective. It is for this reason primarily that companies seek to merge rather than split into smaller pieces (which is better for everyone except the pieces that aren’t doing well in the marketplace). A merger will give both companies excuses to have sub-par results for several years while keeping stockholders mesmerized waiting for synergies to develop. Since I don’t own stock in either company I say Go for It!, Shoot the Moon!, Jump the Shark!, etc.

  13. Well it will certainly save me a lot of trouble instead of venting my spleen on the companies individually I can just pick on Yahsoft, or will it me Microhoo?

    Both are companies that got too comfortable with their leadership positions and forgot (I think permanently) how to look at their products from a customer perspective. It is for this reason primarily that companies seek to merge rather than split into smaller pieces (which is better for everyone except the pieces that aren’t doing well in the marketplace). A merger will give both companies excuses to have sub-par results for several years while keeping stockholders mesmerized waiting for synergies to develop. Since I don’t own stock in either company I say Go for It!, Shoot the Moon!, Jump the Shark!, etc.

  14. I’m sure Yahoo! wouldn’t lose too many customers if MS bought it. There is no way I would drop my Flickr account. It’s far far too good :)

    I’m even wondering if MS could buy Yahoo! Would there not be a good chance it would be an Anti-Trust issue?

  15. I’m sure Yahoo! wouldn’t lose too many customers if MS bought it. There is no way I would drop my Flickr account. It’s far far too good :)

    I’m even wondering if MS could buy Yahoo! Would there not be a good chance it would be an Anti-Trust issue?

  16. @5:

    I dropped flickr when Yahoo got it and introduced limits designed to force people into an annual fee. Yahoo is like cable TV, first they introduce ads to pay for the service, then they ask you to pay for the service to get rid of the ads, then they introduce the ads to the paid service, and the service never gets better unless someone comes along to challenge them (like Google). Google photo gives me a gig to use as I please, no upload limits, no funny name changing gimmicks, and more and more hooks into other services. Why would I want to use Flicker? (Former user of Yahooo-just about everything).

  17. @5:

    I dropped flickr when Yahoo got it and introduced limits designed to force people into an annual fee. Yahoo is like cable TV, first they introduce ads to pay for the service, then they ask you to pay for the service to get rid of the ads, then they introduce the ads to the paid service, and the service never gets better unless someone comes along to challenge them (like Google). Google photo gives me a gig to use as I please, no upload limits, no funny name changing gimmicks, and more and more hooks into other services. Why would I want to use Flicker? (Former user of Yahooo-just about everything).

  18. How long are you in Atlanta? I’d be happy to buy you and Maryam lunch/dinner and talk baby stuff since my wife is expecting on the 22nd of this month.

  19. How long are you in Atlanta? I’d be happy to buy you and Maryam lunch/dinner and talk baby stuff since my wife is expecting on the 22nd of this month.

  20. This is ironic.

    I’d been trying for ages to ditch my yahoo email for hotmail so that I can put my passport.net services under one umbrella. But once you get a hotmail account, you can’t *then* transfer your passport credentials. Something they don’t tell you when you sign up for hotmail.

    In the meantime, I’ve been using the yahoo mail beta, and discovered that it’s better than hotmail. Way better.

  21. This is ironic.

    I’d been trying for ages to ditch my yahoo email for hotmail so that I can put my passport.net services under one umbrella. But once you get a hotmail account, you can’t *then* transfer your passport credentials. Something they don’t tell you when you sign up for hotmail.

    In the meantime, I’ve been using the yahoo mail beta, and discovered that it’s better than hotmail. Way better.

  22. 10 years ago I pinged up through the management chain that MS should buy ICQ. This was two years before AOL picked them up. I am not saying I was right (I don’t hear much about ICQ any more) but you can’t deny that momentum they had at the time and the development saving that could have been realized over developing Messenger and all of it’s iterations. Not to mention the very well established user base ICQ had at the time.

    Chris

  23. 10 years ago I pinged up through the management chain that MS should buy ICQ. This was two years before AOL picked them up. I am not saying I was right (I don’t hear much about ICQ any more) but you can’t deny that momentum they had at the time and the development saving that could have been realized over developing Messenger and all of it’s iterations. Not to mention the very well established user base ICQ had at the time.

    Chris

  24. “UPDATE: it’s funny that Microsoft could end up paying a LOT more for Flickr and Del.icio.us than it would have paid if they had bought those when I told Gates to buy those. Sigh.”

    Flickr and Del.icio.us only became big because they were bought by any larger company. Microsoft could have purchased any competing service and boosted it that last mile. It could have been digg or any other photo site. Sites like that never go all the way until they make that final aquisition.

    In that sense del.icio.us and flickr are common and generic.

    As for the merger or aquisition. I have one word.
    ANTITRUST, and one url http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/ms_index.htm

    I hope the new Democratic govt can finally finish them off this time should a Democrat be elected in the Executive branch.

    I hope they get crippled and done in for good the way it should have went down 10 long years ago with Janet Reno. Yahoo+MSFT may push it over the edge.

  25. “UPDATE: it’s funny that Microsoft could end up paying a LOT more for Flickr and Del.icio.us than it would have paid if they had bought those when I told Gates to buy those. Sigh.”

    Flickr and Del.icio.us only became big because they were bought by any larger company. Microsoft could have purchased any competing service and boosted it that last mile. It could have been digg or any other photo site. Sites like that never go all the way until they make that final aquisition.

    In that sense del.icio.us and flickr are common and generic.

    As for the merger or aquisition. I have one word.
    ANTITRUST, and one url http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/ms_index.htm

    I hope the new Democratic govt can finally finish them off this time should a Democrat be elected in the Executive branch.

    I hope they get crippled and done in for good the way it should have went down 10 long years ago with Janet Reno. Yahoo+MSFT may push it over the edge.

  26. I am not looking forward to seeing Microsoft spent the next half-decade trying to port the software from their new acquisitions to .Net when they should be trying to make money from them – NIH writ large.

  27. I am not looking forward to seeing Microsoft spent the next half-decade trying to port the software from their new acquisitions to .Net when they should be trying to make money from them – NIH writ large.

  28. I would stop using Yahoo if MSFT bought it. Which is a shame. I still prefer my.yahoo.com to the personalized Google. But this deal, in terms of my usage, would instantly help GOOG.

    Somebody said that Yahoo would benefit from such an effort and were a good stock buy again… Who said that?

  29. I would stop using Yahoo if MSFT bought it. Which is a shame. I still prefer my.yahoo.com to the personalized Google. But this deal, in terms of my usage, would instantly help GOOG.

    Somebody said that Yahoo would benefit from such an effort and were a good stock buy again… Who said that?

  30. @13, to stop using Yahoo if MSFT bought it would be a strange decision but understandable nonetheless. But to go away from Microsoft in favor of Google on principle… Insanity comes to mind. Google is to this generation of computing to what Microsoft was to the previous generation of computing. They are moral equivalents.

  31. @13, to stop using Yahoo if MSFT bought it would be a strange decision but understandable nonetheless. But to go away from Microsoft in favor of Google on principle… Insanity comes to mind. Google is to this generation of computing to what Microsoft was to the previous generation of computing. They are moral equivalents.

  32. “when I told Gates to buy those”

    Get over YOURSELF. In what dillusional place do you live? I’m sure Gates has parrots saying “buy this” and “buy that” for dozens of companies EVERYDAY. Why would the recommendation of a simple blogger stand out?

    Perhaps you failed and didnt SELL the idea well enough?

  33. “when I told Gates to buy those”

    Get over YOURSELF. In what dillusional place do you live? I’m sure Gates has parrots saying “buy this” and “buy that” for dozens of companies EVERYDAY. Why would the recommendation of a simple blogger stand out?

    Perhaps you failed and didnt SELL the idea well enough?

  34. >Robert, why do you do so many events for free?

    Because I like meeting people and it brings me great joy to do it. PodTech does have a policy against taking speaking fees unless management approves first, though.

    I’m not sure how long I’ll be in Atlanta or when I’ll be free yet. I’m only there a short time (about 24 hours). I’ll blog next week when I figure that out.

  35. >Robert, why do you do so many events for free?

    Because I like meeting people and it brings me great joy to do it. PodTech does have a policy against taking speaking fees unless management approves first, though.

    I’m not sure how long I’ll be in Atlanta or when I’ll be free yet. I’m only there a short time (about 24 hours). I’ll blog next week when I figure that out.

  36. teknologist: actually no one else had proposed the strategy I had proposed. I got lengthy replies from several executives. So, yeah, I’m an arrogggaannntttt bbbbbaaahhhhssssttttaaaarrrrrdddd, but where was your plan back in 2003?

    Obviously no one did a good enough sales job to Gates and Co, have they? So, I failed swinging at the bat. Not many other people even took a swing.

  37. teknologist: actually no one else had proposed the strategy I had proposed. I got lengthy replies from several executives. So, yeah, I’m an arrogggaannntttt bbbbbaaahhhhssssttttaaaarrrrrdddd, but where was your plan back in 2003?

    Obviously no one did a good enough sales job to Gates and Co, have they? So, I failed swinging at the bat. Not many other people even took a swing.

  38. Scoble wasn’t just a “simple blogger” when he made those suggestions, he was Microsoft’s technical evangelist.

  39. Scoble wasn’t just a “simple blogger” when he made those suggestions, he was Microsoft’s technical evangelist.

  40. This would be a dumb move by Microsoft.
    Maybe smart for Yahoo.
    Not that it matters – it’t not going to happen.

  41. This would be a dumb move by Microsoft.
    Maybe smart for Yahoo.
    Not that it matters – it’t not going to happen.

  42. Not really. Presumably Yahoo the brand would ultimately be subsumed by Microsoft. I have never liked MSN and Microsoft Live is going nowhere or is focused on particular services not of interest to me. Yahoo as it exists serves my needs. Microsoft will kill off, rebrand, alter, or migrate Yahoo services to MSN or Microsoft Live services. Yahoo as it is now would not continue to exist forever.

    In ZERO way are Microsoft and Google the moral equivalents, and that is not the oly criteria for my decision. I am supporting Yahoo NOW by saying I will abandon them if they agree to be taken over by Microsoft.

  43. Not really. Presumably Yahoo the brand would ultimately be subsumed by Microsoft. I have never liked MSN and Microsoft Live is going nowhere or is focused on particular services not of interest to me. Yahoo as it exists serves my needs. Microsoft will kill off, rebrand, alter, or migrate Yahoo services to MSN or Microsoft Live services. Yahoo as it is now would not continue to exist forever.

    In ZERO way are Microsoft and Google the moral equivalents, and that is not the oly criteria for my decision. I am supporting Yahoo NOW by saying I will abandon them if they agree to be taken over by Microsoft.

  44. I have nothing against msft, BUT
    If I have to get a Passport ID to use Flickr or del.icio.us, I will seriously reconsider using either of those services. Passport’s record on privacy sucks, and I’d rather not go there.

  45. I have nothing against msft, BUT
    If I have to get a Passport ID to use Flickr or del.icio.us, I will seriously reconsider using either of those services. Passport’s record on privacy sucks, and I’d rather not go there.

  46. Does it make sense for a company that already has Hotmail and MSN to buy Yahoo! ?

    They didn’t do much with Hotmail after they bought it and I would hate to see Yahoo! go down the same stagnant path.

    I’m a paying Yahoo! Mail customer and I already have half a mind to move my stuff to Google Mail. If Microsoft buys then neglects Yahoo! (like they did with Hotmail), I’ll probably take the plunge.

  47. Does it make sense for a company that already has Hotmail and MSN to buy Yahoo! ?

    They didn’t do much with Hotmail after they bought it and I would hate to see Yahoo! go down the same stagnant path.

    I’m a paying Yahoo! Mail customer and I already have half a mind to move my stuff to Google Mail. If Microsoft buys then neglects Yahoo! (like they did with Hotmail), I’ll probably take the plunge.

  48. @28 Actually I believe he was merely one of MANY “technical evangelists” at MS. And a fairly low level one at that, I’m sure, given that he didn’t produce anything other than “Microsoft’s Home Videos” What’s curious is that Scoble never tells us WHY those execs thought his idea was stupid.

    @27 Scoble, Gates has proven to be a pretty smart businessman. I rather doubt he could be “sold” by anyone not in his executive circle. There’s a reason he’s where he is and you were where you were in the org. Care to tell us why, in those “lengthy replies” from “several execs” they thought your idea was stupid?

  49. @28 Actually I believe he was merely one of MANY “technical evangelists” at MS. And a fairly low level one at that, I’m sure, given that he didn’t produce anything other than “Microsoft’s Home Videos” What’s curious is that Scoble never tells us WHY those execs thought his idea was stupid.

    @27 Scoble, Gates has proven to be a pretty smart businessman. I rather doubt he could be “sold” by anyone not in his executive circle. There’s a reason he’s where he is and you were where you were in the org. Care to tell us why, in those “lengthy replies” from “several execs” they thought your idea was stupid?

  50. Scobleizer:

    I think two questions are worth asking…

    1. In a merger what new services or products will be created to serve new customers?

    2. If there are no new services and new customers to be created by the merger, is the deal really being constructed to prop up a weakening business model?

    Beware that most mergers fail because of these points. Talk of culture and synergies related to MSFT and YHOO are side-issues because these have little to do with customers.

    Mike
    http://www.OnDisruption.com

  51. Scobleizer:

    I think two questions are worth asking…

    1. In a merger what new services or products will be created to serve new customers?

    2. If there are no new services and new customers to be created by the merger, is the deal really being constructed to prop up a weakening business model?

    Beware that most mergers fail because of these points. Talk of culture and synergies related to MSFT and YHOO are side-issues because these have little to do with customers.

    Mike
    http://www.OnDisruption.com

  52. stevekit, it’s obvious that this is primarily industry speculation; we’ve been here three or four times before. The interesting thing is that it still helps YAHOO’s value no matter what. (Which still hurts MSFT no matter what.) And, two, even though it’s almost infeasible for Microsoft and even though Yahoo resists it, the more desperate MS is and the more the industry wants to see it happen, it or some form of merger could still happen. The finance world has a way of becoming an inevitable snowball.

    And, finally, this really does show Microsoft’s desperation. They can only think of one option: swallow the next biggest competitor in one of the largest and most overwhelming acquisitions ever. Who cares about the tech or integration or brands or brain drain… Size wins. Virtually the only Microsoft strategy.

  53. stevekit, it’s obvious that this is primarily industry speculation; we’ve been here three or four times before. The interesting thing is that it still helps YAHOO’s value no matter what. (Which still hurts MSFT no matter what.) And, two, even though it’s almost infeasible for Microsoft and even though Yahoo resists it, the more desperate MS is and the more the industry wants to see it happen, it or some form of merger could still happen. The finance world has a way of becoming an inevitable snowball.

    And, finally, this really does show Microsoft’s desperation. They can only think of one option: swallow the next biggest competitor in one of the largest and most overwhelming acquisitions ever. Who cares about the tech or integration or brands or brain drain… Size wins. Virtually the only Microsoft strategy.

  54. “I’m an arrogggaannntttt bbbbbaaahhhhssssttttaaaarrrrrdddd, but where was your plan back in 2003″

    I made more than my fair share in the dot com years, but not working for Microsoft… it makes little sense to ask me where my plan to Gates was.

    Good point LayZ.

  55. “I’m an arrogggaannntttt bbbbbaaahhhhssssttttaaaarrrrrdddd, but where was your plan back in 2003″

    I made more than my fair share in the dot com years, but not working for Microsoft… it makes little sense to ask me where my plan to Gates was.

    Good point LayZ.

  56. >Care to tell us why, in those “lengthy replies” from “several execs” they thought your idea was stupid?

    Well, keep in mind they didn’t quite think it was stupid. If they thought that they wouldn’t have wasted the time to answer me (expensive time, too, probably the most expensive emails I’ve ever received).

    One had an answer about 2,000 words with the words “business value” repeated 13 times.

    Keep in mind that back then they didn’t see the value in any of this stuff. Flickr was sold for, what, $30 million (at the high end). Now it’s worth way way more.

  57. >Care to tell us why, in those “lengthy replies” from “several execs” they thought your idea was stupid?

    Well, keep in mind they didn’t quite think it was stupid. If they thought that they wouldn’t have wasted the time to answer me (expensive time, too, probably the most expensive emails I’ve ever received).

    One had an answer about 2,000 words with the words “business value” repeated 13 times.

    Keep in mind that back then they didn’t see the value in any of this stuff. Flickr was sold for, what, $30 million (at the high end). Now it’s worth way way more.

  58. @36 Perhaps in Scoble’s old division. But I’m guessing there are some in other divisions within MS.

    @40. Fair enough. Never mind what its worth. What’s it been able to do for Yahoo’s ultimate bottom line? Are you perhaps suggesting Yahoo would be losing even MORE money if not for Flickr? Did they make money from the acquistion? Were they able to get more adoption/usage of more of their services from Flickr users? How many Flickr users became exclusive consumers of Yahoo Mail and Yahoo search? How many users did they keep from using Google search, Gmail, Hotmail, Windows Live by acquiring Flickr?

    Sounds like you didn’t make a very good business case for MS to buy it. “Nifty-neato cool web app” is not really a business case. Did you map out what the aciquistion price would be? How soon would MS have made their money back? How would it have benefited MS’s overall strategy? So, were you able to coherently define the business value for the execs?

  59. @36 Perhaps in Scoble’s old division. But I’m guessing there are some in other divisions within MS.

    @40. Fair enough. Never mind what its worth. What’s it been able to do for Yahoo’s ultimate bottom line? Are you perhaps suggesting Yahoo would be losing even MORE money if not for Flickr? Did they make money from the acquistion? Were they able to get more adoption/usage of more of their services from Flickr users? How many Flickr users became exclusive consumers of Yahoo Mail and Yahoo search? How many users did they keep from using Google search, Gmail, Hotmail, Windows Live by acquiring Flickr?

    Sounds like you didn’t make a very good business case for MS to buy it. “Nifty-neato cool web app” is not really a business case. Did you map out what the aciquistion price would be? How soon would MS have made their money back? How would it have benefited MS’s overall strategy? So, were you able to coherently define the business value for the execs?

  60. LayZ: Twitter is where Flickr was back then. If I told you that Twitter would be worth $100 million in 18 months and laid out a path for it to get there, would you believe me?

    I doubt it.

    Why? Cause a lot of what I’d be writing is pulling numbers out of my ass based on the doubling effects I’m seeing. Do those doubling effects continue? I think so, but lots of smart people think not. Who’s right?

    It’s pretty obvious I wasn’t able to coherently define the business value for the execs. But, then, neither was anyone else and there’s a lot of people smarter than me working at Microsoft.

    Funny enough someone DID convince Yahoo to buy all this stuff.

    Someone DID convince Murdoch to buy MySpace for $800 million (they got that back in the deal with Google and more).

  61. LayZ: Twitter is where Flickr was back then. If I told you that Twitter would be worth $100 million in 18 months and laid out a path for it to get there, would you believe me?

    I doubt it.

    Why? Cause a lot of what I’d be writing is pulling numbers out of my ass based on the doubling effects I’m seeing. Do those doubling effects continue? I think so, but lots of smart people think not. Who’s right?

    It’s pretty obvious I wasn’t able to coherently define the business value for the execs. But, then, neither was anyone else and there’s a lot of people smarter than me working at Microsoft.

    Funny enough someone DID convince Yahoo to buy all this stuff.

    Someone DID convince Murdoch to buy MySpace for $800 million (they got that back in the deal with Google and more).

  62. Dan’l Lewin told me that Steve Jobs talked IBM out of $500 million without even having a product.

    Most of this is just getting the right person to believe. I don’t have Steve Jobs’ skills. That doesn’t make me wrong.

  63. Dan’l Lewin told me that Steve Jobs talked IBM out of $500 million without even having a product.

    Most of this is just getting the right person to believe. I don’t have Steve Jobs’ skills. That doesn’t make me wrong.

  64. Well you do know that Msoft is not interensted in Flikr ,They want to buy Yahoo to obstruct Google and also narrown down the lead google has in search and no. of search queries!
    Gates did the right thing by not listening to you! :)

  65. Well you do know that Msoft is not interensted in Flikr ,They want to buy Yahoo to obstruct Google and also narrown down the lead google has in search and no. of search queries!
    Gates did the right thing by not listening to you! :)

  66. Scoble : There’s no denying that Flickr is *popular*. But as LayZ asks – how much has Flickr contributed to Yahoo. ( Apparently not much – going by recent performances)

  67. Scoble : There’s no denying that Flickr is *popular*. But as LayZ asks – how much has Flickr contributed to Yahoo. ( Apparently not much – going by recent performances)

  68. @36:
    “@34 Actually their are ONLY 15 Technical Evangelists at MS. That’s not MANY.”

    rubbish. there are hundreds of them, if not close to a thousand. Most of the DPE org are evangelists. Scoble was a leaf node and one of many, so just cos he thinks up an idea (with no business plan) then it’s hardly an earth shattering moment.

  69. @36:
    “@34 Actually their are ONLY 15 Technical Evangelists at MS. That’s not MANY.”

    rubbish. there are hundreds of them, if not close to a thousand. Most of the DPE org are evangelists. Scoble was a leaf node and one of many, so just cos he thinks up an idea (with no business plan) then it’s hardly an earth shattering moment.