Microsoft to buy Yahoo: Ray Ozzie roars

OK, everyone is already talking about Microsoft buying Yahoo.

But what I find interesting is that Bill Gates is out and now Ray Ozzie is roaring. Microsoft has been so damn boring since I left in June of 2006. This shoots the boring in the head.

Why is “Microhoo” not boring?

No, not my pet service Flickr. But, damn, Gates could have bought that for $40 million. Instead Ray and Kevin had to spend billions. Wow. Nah, what makes Yahoo/Microsoft interesting is the email audience. That’s another 300 million people to add to Hotmail’s audience of close to the same. Yahoo has a ton of interesting Web properties that are far more interesting than anything Microsoft has done lately. Groups. Finance. Upcoming. Etc.

This gets Microsoft back into the Web game in a big way and puts a defense around Microsoft’s Office cash-generating-machine. I bet that some of Yahoo’s smartest engineers get moved over to the Office team to help build an online Office that’ll keep Google’s docs and spreadsheets from getting major marketshare inroads.

It’s the fear that Google’s Docs and Spreadsheets might someday take marketshare away from Office that I think was driving this deal.

Sad thing? I still own Microsoft stock, which went down today on the news. But I think that long-term this is a good deal for Microsoft’s shareholders too. With one caveat: Microsoft and Yahoo employees need to work together to create value, not destroy it. That’s going to be pretty tough since the cultures of the two companies aren’t a total fit.

Both companies also have lots of fat that can be cut, so it’ll be interesting to see whether Microsoft keeps the fat around (on both sides, as they have done so far) or if they cut back to make both companies together leaner and meaner.

Microsoft has a world-class advertising sales team and this gives that team a ton of new inventory to sell.

Anyway, this is what happens when a blogger tries to get some sleep: the entire world changes and he misses the boat. :-)

Comments

  1. Yahoo is a media company, it’s just a tone of language and work styles I’ve picked up over the years. I don’t know if it’s something I can put into words (particularly because it would probably piss off both groups of people and that’s not something I’d be likely to do). It just makes me worried that we’d see an AOL/Time Warner style of destruction of value rather than something where both sides really tried to add a lot of value.

  2. That could help get MS back into the search game as well. Yahoo is fairly popular as a search engine.. but they will still have a ton of work ahead of them. Both their marketshares put together don’t come close to Google yet.

  3. That could help get MS back into the search game as well. Yahoo is fairly popular as a search engine.. but they will still have a ton of work ahead of them. Both their marketshares put together don’t come close to Google yet.

  4. Yahoo is a media company, it’s just a tone of language and work styles I’ve picked up over the years. I don’t know if it’s something I can put into words (particularly because it would probably piss off both groups of people and that’s not something I’d be likely to do). It just makes me worried that we’d see an AOL/Time Warner style of destruction of value rather than something where both sides really tried to add a lot of value.

  5. Hedley: that certainly is a potential outcome, yes. On the other hand, this gets Microsoft back into the Internet game for more than a decade so it’ll be a while before we really know.

  6. Hedley: that certainly is a potential outcome, yes. On the other hand, this gets Microsoft back into the Internet game for more than a decade so it’ll be a while before we really know.

  7. I doubt very seriously this will ever get by the regulators in the US, let alone the EU. Something would have to give.

    I would love to see Google have some real competition.

  8. I doubt very seriously this will ever get by the regulators in the US, let alone the EU. Something would have to give.

    I would love to see Google have some real competition.

  9. Maybe a lot more people will move to Gmail now, when Microsoft own Yahoo. It is a big price to pay for Flickr. It will all end in tears if they can’t improve their search.

  10. Maybe a lot more people will move to Gmail now, when Microsoft own Yahoo. It is a big price to pay for Flickr. It will all end in tears if they can’t improve their search.

  11. I was on the conference call from Microsoft this morning, but they only answered questions from financial annalists. I wanted to ask about the cultural differences, I believe the best and brightest Yahoo talent will take the money and run, so much for all the synergies.

  12. I was on the conference call from Microsoft this morning, but they only answered questions from financial annalists. I wanted to ask about the cultural differences, I believe the best and brightest Yahoo talent will take the money and run, so much for all the synergies.

  13. looks like it is not updated.
    Robert Scoble works at PodTech.net (title: Vice President of Media Development). Everything here, though, is his personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here.

    or

    are you still working for Podtech?

  14. looks like it is not updated.
    Robert Scoble works at PodTech.net (title: Vice President of Media Development). Everything here, though, is his personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here.

    or

    are you still working for Podtech?

  15. “That’s going to be pretty tough since the cultures of the two companies aren’t a total fit.”

    not a total fit? they aren’t a fit at all! MS cares about businesses, Y! cares about users.

    the tech is COMPLETELY different. integration won’t happen, shutdowns will.

  16. “That’s going to be pretty tough since the cultures of the two companies aren’t a total fit.”

    not a total fit? they aren’t a fit at all! MS cares about businesses, Y! cares about users.

    the tech is COMPLETELY different. integration won’t happen, shutdowns will.

  17. You know what I just though of Scoble? Yahoo purchased Zimbra, the only real competitor to Exchange. This means that Microsoft just bought the only real competitor to its Exchange brand. I wonder if that will be an issue to regulators…probably not I think.

  18. You know what I just though of Scoble? Yahoo purchased Zimbra, the only real competitor to Exchange. This means that Microsoft just bought the only real competitor to its Exchange brand. I wonder if that will be an issue to regulators…probably not I think.

  19. Yahoo has been brilliant in offering services like Flickr to easily share photos, Upcoming to plan events and invite people and Yahoo maps to get you to the event.

    These are all very valuable resources in my opinion. However, they are just the tools, the bare essentials. I feel the next big thing will come in the form of video and helping others learn and catch up to this type of technology.

  20. Yahoo has been brilliant in offering services like Flickr to easily share photos, Upcoming to plan events and invite people and Yahoo maps to get you to the event.

    These are all very valuable resources in my opinion. However, they are just the tools, the bare essentials. I feel the next big thing will come in the form of video and helping others learn and catch up to this type of technology.

  21. [...] Scoble: what makes Yahoo/Microsoft interesting is the email audience. That’s another 300 million people to add to Hotmail’s audience of close to the same. Yahoo has a ton of interesting Web properties that are far more interesting than anything Microsoft has done lately. Groups. Finance. Upcoming. Etc. [...]

  22. Unless Microhoo starts offering the Office suite for free online, I believe Google will still have the advantage. I prefer Google over both Yahoo and Microsoft. You are probably right, Robert, this may be an outlet for Microsoft and their new ad sales capability.

  23. Unless Microhoo starts offering the Office suite for free online, I believe Google will still have the advantage. I prefer Google over both Yahoo and Microsoft. You are probably right, Robert, this may be an outlet for Microsoft and their new ad sales capability.

  24. Clearly, this is another attempt by Microsoft to strengthen its position against Google in search engine and web based advertisement market. The ultimate beneficiaries, however, will be web-publishers and advertisers as both Google and Microsoft-Yahoo will try to expand their market share by offering lucrative deals to both sides of the table.

  25. Clearly, this is another attempt by Microsoft to strengthen its position against Google in search engine and web based advertisement market. The ultimate beneficiaries, however, will be web-publishers and advertisers as both Google and Microsoft-Yahoo will try to expand their market share by offering lucrative deals to both sides of the table.

  26. Yahoo will be forced to spend years converting its Unix infrastructure to Windows. Result: enormous energy expenditure digging a pit straight to Hell.

  27. Yahoo will be forced to spend years converting its Unix infrastructure to Windows. Result: enormous energy expenditure digging a pit straight to Hell.

  28. [...] Scoble makes a good point about how Yahoo’s web engineers could help Microsoft do a better job of moving their Office apps to the web, and stave off Google’s online appplication push. Microsoft can’t move too quickly on that front because they don’t want to impact their existing Office sales. But if Google starts making a bigger dent in Office, then it will force Microsoft to try and do a better job of taking Office online. [...]

  29. This doesn’t make any sense, why pay billions to upgrade your web apps to platforms you dont’ support (php/linux/yui) when you could just upgrade your own playforms and apps (windows/C#/silverlight). Spend that money on technology, services, and applications that you currently don’t have, a la AMAZON’s S3/EC2

  30. This doesn’t make any sense, why pay billions to upgrade your web apps to platforms you dont’ support (php/linux/yui) when you could just upgrade your own playforms and apps (windows/C#/silverlight). Spend that money on technology, services, and applications that you currently don’t have, a la AMAZON’s S3/EC2

  31. I think if the merger happens, it will take ages to bring the two companies together, Yahoo!’s best people will bail out, and by the time the smoke clears, Google will have lapped Yahoosoft/Microhoo several times. Bad for both sides, and in the end for users, in my opinion.

    Then again, I know nothing about running a business. These are just my instincts.

  32. I think if the merger happens, it will take ages to bring the two companies together, Yahoo!’s best people will bail out, and by the time the smoke clears, Google will have lapped Yahoosoft/Microhoo several times. Bad for both sides, and in the end for users, in my opinion.

    Then again, I know nothing about running a business. These are just my instincts.

  33. I don’t think it can happen for internal culture reasons. Microsoft’s options would be to allow Yahoo!’s products to continue running without integrating them (which would say to its corporate customers ‘you don’t need Microsoft’s .NET architecture to operate a large consumer web business’), or to try and borg Yahoo!’s products.

    If Microsoft tried to port Yahoo!’s products to an all-Microsoft environment it would have to do it over the empty desks of the Yahoo! product teams. There’s no way most of them would stick around for that kind of pain in such a hot developer job market.

    My 2c here.

  34. I don’t think it can happen for internal culture reasons. Microsoft’s options would be to allow Yahoo!’s products to continue running without integrating them (which would say to its corporate customers ‘you don’t need Microsoft’s .NET architecture to operate a large consumer web business’), or to try and borg Yahoo!’s products.

    If Microsoft tried to port Yahoo!’s products to an all-Microsoft environment it would have to do it over the empty desks of the Yahoo! product teams. There’s no way most of them would stick around for that kind of pain in such a hot developer job market.

    My 2c here.

  35. >Both companies also have lots of fat that can be cut, so it’ll be interesting to see whether Microsoft keeps the fat around (on both sides, as they have done so far) or if they cut back to make both companies together leaner and meaner.

    Oh, good. Just what the world needs, a meaner Microsoft.

  36. >Both companies also have lots of fat that can be cut, so it’ll be interesting to see whether Microsoft keeps the fat around (on both sides, as they have done so far) or if they cut back to make both companies together leaner and meaner.

    Oh, good. Just what the world needs, a meaner Microsoft.

  37. Based on your level and short tenure at Microsoft, I’d say your personal impact on a short term MSFT drop of $2 is less than $200. Bad news indeed.

  38. Based on your level and short tenure at Microsoft, I’d say your personal impact on a short term MSFT drop of $2 is less than $200. Bad news indeed.

  39. This is a dumb idea by Microsoft.
    Rather than do this, they should get out of the web portal biz, make an online version of Office and make a deal with Google to host it on Google (Google gets rid of the horrible Google Docs/Spreadsheets garbage), and both companies make money on the advertising.

  40. This is a dumb idea by Microsoft.
    Rather than do this, they should get out of the web portal biz, make an online version of Office and make a deal with Google to host it on Google (Google gets rid of the horrible Google Docs/Spreadsheets garbage), and both companies make money on the advertising.

  41. I’ve been thinking about this since i heart about the deal and I couldn’t make sense about it.

    Ok, it should be about the synergy, and maybe there’s some advertisement dollars waiting. But this also means that the war chest needs to be filled (you know just plain old cash) which is flowing to Yahoo stockholders if the deal goes through. Second there’s this magic figure of 40 know and 80 in 2010. (i’m talking about the illusive figure they’re using about advertisement revenue). As most people know advertising is one of those industries that tends to be hit hard when there’s economic downturn…..

    Then there’s this company that’s targeted at enterprises and there’s yahoo which is primarily in the users business. You run a big risk of alienating one or both sides….

    Technically this could become a horror story. If MS decides to migrate yahoo’s infrastructure, they will face two problems, the first is that probably a lot of yahoo engineers will run away… and the second is that this might not be so easy as they would guess it is… Just look at what happened to hotmail when they started migrating that… it still doesn’t work decently in any other browser than IE.

    There’s a lot of duplicates between msn and yahoo. Guess what will happen when tough decisions need to be made if you want to achieve the said synergy….

    Such a large undertaking like this one tends do draw energy from a company and in most cases leads to inertia, in most cases for at least a year… In normal business this isn’t such a problem in the internet age, this is ages. You can’t stand still for a year.

    If the advertising would be such a big deal, why not get together and tell them that you’re going to help them and do some Business Process Outsourcing, they’re happy and you’re happy and you’ll have a lot more cash at hand??

    Actually this would be a perfect poison pill for yahoo if they would go for such a deal with Google ;)

  42. I’ve been thinking about this since i heart about the deal and I couldn’t make sense about it.

    Ok, it should be about the synergy, and maybe there’s some advertisement dollars waiting. But this also means that the war chest needs to be filled (you know just plain old cash) which is flowing to Yahoo stockholders if the deal goes through. Second there’s this magic figure of 40 know and 80 in 2010. (i’m talking about the illusive figure they’re using about advertisement revenue). As most people know advertising is one of those industries that tends to be hit hard when there’s economic downturn…..

    Then there’s this company that’s targeted at enterprises and there’s yahoo which is primarily in the users business. You run a big risk of alienating one or both sides….

    Technically this could become a horror story. If MS decides to migrate yahoo’s infrastructure, they will face two problems, the first is that probably a lot of yahoo engineers will run away… and the second is that this might not be so easy as they would guess it is… Just look at what happened to hotmail when they started migrating that… it still doesn’t work decently in any other browser than IE.

    There’s a lot of duplicates between msn and yahoo. Guess what will happen when tough decisions need to be made if you want to achieve the said synergy….

    Such a large undertaking like this one tends do draw energy from a company and in most cases leads to inertia, in most cases for at least a year… In normal business this isn’t such a problem in the internet age, this is ages. You can’t stand still for a year.

    If the advertising would be such a big deal, why not get together and tell them that you’re going to help them and do some Business Process Outsourcing, they’re happy and you’re happy and you’ll have a lot more cash at hand??

    Actually this would be a perfect poison pill for yahoo if they would go for such a deal with Google ;)

  43. @21,

    For Microsoft to convert the Yahoo infrastructure to Windows would be the height of foolishness.

    Micorsoft is very guilty of the NIH (not invented here) syndrome.

    Yahoo relies very heavily on FreeBSD, and for good reason. It’s the most realiable, scalable UNIX-like OS out there. And free. Granted, Yahoo has probably added alot of proprietary goodies to it, which they can under the BSD license.

  44. @21,

    For Microsoft to convert the Yahoo infrastructure to Windows would be the height of foolishness.

    Micorsoft is very guilty of the NIH (not invented here) syndrome.

    Yahoo relies very heavily on FreeBSD, and for good reason. It’s the most realiable, scalable UNIX-like OS out there. And free. Granted, Yahoo has probably added alot of proprietary goodies to it, which they can under the BSD license.

  45. Almost forgot…

    If the deal goes through, then I can see in about a year or so alot of people losing their jobs. This could be uncool for the people that are considered redundant.

  46. Almost forgot…

    If the deal goes through, then I can see in about a year or so alot of people losing their jobs. This could be uncool for the people that are considered redundant.

  47. It’s very much about search, Robert. Indeed, that’s first and foremost. Don’t lose sight of that.

    What’s the core of Google’s earnings? Search eyeballs, eyeballs that convert better than any other type of online advertising and which are in short supply. Google’s got them. Yahoo has a fair chunk to. Microsoft hasn’t been able to grow them organically.

    aQuantive needs inventory? They’re buying Yahoo for that? Seriously. C’mon. Open up contextual ads, take 2 billion of the 45 billion you’re giving to Yahoo, and you could simply rent a fair chunk of the web to knock out AdSense.

    There’s a lot going on in this deal, but it boils down to Microsoft having been seriously chasing Google now for five years (it’s been five years) and unable to catch or gain on it in search. So go get the number two.

  48. It’s very much about search, Robert. Indeed, that’s first and foremost. Don’t lose sight of that.

    What’s the core of Google’s earnings? Search eyeballs, eyeballs that convert better than any other type of online advertising and which are in short supply. Google’s got them. Yahoo has a fair chunk to. Microsoft hasn’t been able to grow them organically.

    aQuantive needs inventory? They’re buying Yahoo for that? Seriously. C’mon. Open up contextual ads, take 2 billion of the 45 billion you’re giving to Yahoo, and you could simply rent a fair chunk of the web to knock out AdSense.

    There’s a lot going on in this deal, but it boils down to Microsoft having been seriously chasing Google now for five years (it’s been five years) and unable to catch or gain on it in search. So go get the number two.

  49. It’s Chapter 7 material if Microsoft forges ahead here, well beyond just AOL/TW write-offs and Xbox billions and billions ratholes. Apply that $40 billion to beyond Vista and a real Office Live, and shore up Dynamics — focus on software. They can’t do content, consumer or services, Yahoo being all those things.

    Ray roars? Cashing chips in and buying out the #2, losing triple the value due to duplication and sloppy merger-digestion? That’s been Microsoft from the get-go.

    This deal is a Apple cultite and Linux weenie dream come true.

  50. It’s Chapter 7 material if Microsoft forges ahead here, well beyond just AOL/TW write-offs and Xbox billions and billions ratholes. Apply that $40 billion to beyond Vista and a real Office Live, and shore up Dynamics — focus on software. They can’t do content, consumer or services, Yahoo being all those things.

    Ray roars? Cashing chips in and buying out the #2, losing triple the value due to duplication and sloppy merger-digestion? That’s been Microsoft from the get-go.

    This deal is a Apple cultite and Linux weenie dream come true.

  51. I was just WAITING for you to comment on this. I think it’s about search, mostly, although I agree with Derek Miller and others that the cultural fit isn’t exactly obvious. Whenever there is an acquisition, people leave and this will be no exception.

    But what’s the future for either of them? MSFT makes all its money from software that is moving to the web, and Yahoo has lots of users that aren’t sufficiently monetized. I actually like the combination, especially since one thing MSFT can do well is run a company. Yahoo can’t. It’s as if it uys things and then misplaces them. Like Flickr and Upcoming.

  52. Hi Robert,

    Just saw you on NewsNight -stop being so nervous/hyper :p

    Anyway, Microsoft is doing it’s typical MO -it will keep on trying and trying, then buy.

    Microsoft are stupid for doing this now, as Google will be able to use it to let the Double-Click deal to go through.

    I also don’t think it’s a definite deal, yang’s just re-asserted himself, unless some firm commitments are promised, I don’t think they’ll go for it -and MS will kill yahoo if its not an agreed (with senior management) deal.

    After having a 90%+ desk-top market, all the trials, m+a, killing competitors, anti-trust enquiries et al, the power to kill things like Realnames, and a decade later, microsoft only has about 10% -they completely wasted what they had.

    Yours kindly,

    Shakir Razak

    P.s.
    Can you please contact me re: fastcompany.tv

  53. I was just WAITING for you to comment on this. I think it’s about search, mostly, although I agree with Derek Miller and others that the cultural fit isn’t exactly obvious. Whenever there is an acquisition, people leave and this will be no exception.

    But what’s the future for either of them? MSFT makes all its money from software that is moving to the web, and Yahoo has lots of users that aren’t sufficiently monetized. I actually like the combination, especially since one thing MSFT can do well is run a company. Yahoo can’t. It’s as if it uys things and then misplaces them. Like Flickr and Upcoming.

  54. Hi Robert,

    Just saw you on NewsNight -stop being so nervous/hyper :p

    Anyway, Microsoft is doing it’s typical MO -it will keep on trying and trying, then buy.

    Microsoft are stupid for doing this now, as Google will be able to use it to let the Double-Click deal to go through.

    I also don’t think it’s a definite deal, yang’s just re-asserted himself, unless some firm commitments are promised, I don’t think they’ll go for it -and MS will kill yahoo if its not an agreed (with senior management) deal.

    After having a 90%+ desk-top market, all the trials, m+a, killing competitors, anti-trust enquiries et al, the power to kill things like Realnames, and a decade later, microsoft only has about 10% -they completely wasted what they had.

    Yours kindly,

    Shakir Razak

    P.s.
    Can you please contact me re: fastcompany.tv

  55. On the other hand…..

    I can’t find the link, but there’s this vision (as others share) that Robbie Bach who runs x-box has where content from x-box would be available on Windows Mobile will be available on Windows IPTV in a “multi-symantic mixed-world web”, and with the userbase of yahoo, which are far more ‘normal’ non-tech consumers, they will be better able to ferment that audience, and upscale office-live before google, etc have the time to gain traction.

    How many users did yahoo/hotmail lose to gmail once they started offering similar storage/features!

    Yahoo would also be able to act as a porous element of MS’s services, compared to their natural instinct to have a closed world. -but whoever said it would be better to spend the money to acquire current adsense-clients (lower margin, up-fronts) is probably right.

    Yours kindly,

    Shakir Razak

  56. Good to see Chrissy Coulter as insightful as ever.

    What credentials exactly are there in CC’s ever-sceptical potshots that would lend any form of credibility?

  57. On the other hand…..

    I can’t find the link, but there’s this vision (as others share) that Robbie Bach who runs x-box has where content from x-box would be available on Windows Mobile will be available on Windows IPTV in a “multi-symantic mixed-world web”, and with the userbase of yahoo, which are far more ‘normal’ non-tech consumers, they will be better able to ferment that audience, and upscale office-live before google, etc have the time to gain traction.

    How many users did yahoo/hotmail lose to gmail once they started offering similar storage/features!

    Yahoo would also be able to act as a porous element of MS’s services, compared to their natural instinct to have a closed world. -but whoever said it would be better to spend the money to acquire current adsense-clients (lower margin, up-fronts) is probably right.

    Yours kindly,

    Shakir Razak

  58. Good to see Chrissy Coulter as insightful as ever.

    What credentials exactly are there in CC’s ever-sceptical potshots that would lend any form of credibility?

  59. I originally balked at the idea, mainly because I wondered how Microsoft, traditionally a software development company, could sustain Yahoo’s web-based services. But the more I think about it, I believe this will help the two companies merge their services and will actually improve them both.

  60. I originally balked at the idea, mainly because I wondered how Microsoft, traditionally a software development company, could sustain Yahoo’s web-based services. But the more I think about it, I believe this will help the two companies merge their services and will actually improve them both.

  61. I understand that it’s tough to characterize a culture without digressing into generalizations and caricatures that would offend senior management. I was just curious if there was anything in particular, beyond the obvious or what an outside observer would know, about what to expect when these two societies collide.

  62. I understand that it’s tough to characterize a culture without digressing into generalizations and caricatures that would offend senior management. I was just curious if there was anything in particular, beyond the obvious or what an outside observer would know, about what to expect when these two societies collide.

  63. Robert I think this is an excellent analysis. A lot of tech folks are saying this won’t work, but it’s arguably a very powerful combination if, as you suggest, MS can keep letting Yahoo be Yahoo, except for the crappy stuff that almost sunk the ship.

  64. Robert I think this is an excellent analysis. A lot of tech folks are saying this won’t work, but it’s arguably a very powerful combination if, as you suggest, MS can keep letting Yahoo be Yahoo, except for the crappy stuff that almost sunk the ship.

  65. As long as they don’t mess with Flickr I am in favor of the merger. If they do, I am running for the hills!!

    Not sure if it will help either company but let them try and we can watch to see what happens. Then again there are too many exciting and new companies and products coming out to even focus much attention on those two companies…

  66. As long as they don’t mess with Flickr I am in favor of the merger. If they do, I am running for the hills!!

    Not sure if it will help either company but let them try and we can watch to see what happens. Then again there are too many exciting and new companies and products coming out to even focus much attention on those two companies…

  67. MS doesn’t need Yahoo Mail, except for the users and perhaps enhancing the UI. So, bullet in the head for Yahoo Mail. They CERTAINLY don’t need Zimbra…so…bullet in the head for Zimbra. Search gets saved. Likely Flickr too. Yahoo Finance? Dead. Small business services? Dead. Yahoo Sports could stay. Messenger? Dead.

    The statement about positioning against Google Docs? Laughable. Nobody uses it. It barely registers. I rather doubt MS is all that worried about Google Docs. If they had to it would be easy to take Office on line.

  68. MS doesn’t need Yahoo Mail, except for the users and perhaps enhancing the UI. So, bullet in the head for Yahoo Mail. They CERTAINLY don’t need Zimbra…so…bullet in the head for Zimbra. Search gets saved. Likely Flickr too. Yahoo Finance? Dead. Small business services? Dead. Yahoo Sports could stay. Messenger? Dead.

    The statement about positioning against Google Docs? Laughable. Nobody uses it. It barely registers. I rather doubt MS is all that worried about Google Docs. If they had to it would be easy to take Office on line.

  69. Good to see Chrissy Coulter as insightful as ever.

    Well, I’d have to stand way back in line, as everyone is sour on this deal, I hardly stand out. But glad you like the flowerly-theaterish wording. I just hope more of Hollywood/Burbank does, beyond the go-nowhere options. :)

  70. Good to see Chrissy Coulter as insightful as ever.

    Well, I’d have to stand way back in line, as everyone is sour on this deal, I hardly stand out. But glad you like the flowerly-theaterish wording. I just hope more of Hollywood/Burbank does, beyond the go-nowhere options. :)

  71. The problem here (IMHO) is that Microsoft are buying a company on the way down – Yahoo couldn’t decide whether it was a search company or a media company or a social company.

    Microsoft itself has serious issues over the perception of its’ brand – the company is seen as being as hip as Bill Gates himself these days.

    So, essentially what we have is like the marriage of an octogenarian fuddy-duddy to a schizophrenic. I can only see it it ending in tears.

  72. The problem here (IMHO) is that Microsoft are buying a company on the way down – Yahoo couldn’t decide whether it was a search company or a media company or a social company.

    Microsoft itself has serious issues over the perception of its’ brand – the company is seen as being as hip as Bill Gates himself these days.

    So, essentially what we have is like the marriage of an octogenarian fuddy-duddy to a schizophrenic. I can only see it it ending in tears.

  73. I think that this could be more of a land grab play than anything else. However it is not how much you sell it is how much you keep, and right now Google is pocketing quite a bit of cash.

    As segmented traffic becomes more coveted this looks attractive in the long run for gates and co. In the short run there is lots of room for error merging cultures that are drastically different.

  74. I think that this could be more of a land grab play than anything else. However it is not how much you sell it is how much you keep, and right now Google is pocketing quite a bit of cash.

    As segmented traffic becomes more coveted this looks attractive in the long run for gates and co. In the short run there is lots of room for error merging cultures that are drastically different.

  75. @58,

    Unlikely. Yahoo already favors IE 7. The Yahoo portal, especially Yahoo Mail barely works with Opera, my favorite browser.

    This is not Opera’s fault. It’s Yahoo’s. Opera is the most standards compliant browser available. Sites still code for their preferred browsers.

    Now that Netscape Navigator is dead, there is one less browser to worry about. Really, the only browsers they need to code for are Opera, Firefox, Mozilla Seamonkey, IE 6/7, and Safari. Maxthon uses IE’s rendering engine.

    Microsoft would be nuts to mess with Flickr and other successful Yahoo properties. They would lose all the users and ad revenue they are so worried about. What I think is so funny is that the same people that are alarmed at MS messing with Flickr are the same ones using XP and Vista already. What gives? If they feel so passiionately about not being affiliated with MS, then they should go buy a Mac or use Linux.

    I’ve not had any trouble whatsoever with Vista Premium. In fact, I’d stay it’s the most stable OS I’ve used to date. I’ve had more crashes under OS X and Linux.

  76. @58,

    Unlikely. Yahoo already favors IE 7. The Yahoo portal, especially Yahoo Mail barely works with Opera, my favorite browser.

    This is not Opera’s fault. It’s Yahoo’s. Opera is the most standards compliant browser available. Sites still code for their preferred browsers.

    Now that Netscape Navigator is dead, there is one less browser to worry about. Really, the only browsers they need to code for are Opera, Firefox, Mozilla Seamonkey, IE 6/7, and Safari. Maxthon uses IE’s rendering engine.

    Microsoft would be nuts to mess with Flickr and other successful Yahoo properties. They would lose all the users and ad revenue they are so worried about. What I think is so funny is that the same people that are alarmed at MS messing with Flickr are the same ones using XP and Vista already. What gives? If they feel so passiionately about not being affiliated with MS, then they should go buy a Mac or use Linux.

    I’ve not had any trouble whatsoever with Vista Premium. In fact, I’d stay it’s the most stable OS I’ve used to date. I’ve had more crashes under OS X and Linux.

  77. [...] Scobleizer’s Blog: Sad thing? I still own Microsoft stock, which went down today on the news. But I think that long-term this is a good deal for Microsoft’s shareholders too. With one caveat: Microsoft and Yahoo employees need to work together to create value, not destroy it. That’s going to be pretty tough since the cultures of the two companies aren’t a total fit. [...]

  78. If it happens this would be a great opportunity for the new Microhoo! to leap-frog google and create an Information coscious Environment. The pieces are there but can they put them together?

  79. If it happens this would be a great opportunity for the new Microhoo! to leap-frog google and create an Information coscious Environment. The pieces are there but can they put them together?

  80. Poor Microsoft, King of our home computers, but not of search engines. This will automatically grant MS 2nd place.

    If I owned Microsoft, I would buy Yahoo in a New York minute.

    So, what’s next; who will eventually buy-out eBay? Is this where this is leading to?

    Join me in my logo contest for Yahoo’s new logo: http://webdesignbysteve.com/blog/?p=58

  81. Poor Microsoft, King of our home computers, but not of search engines. This will automatically grant MS 2nd place.

    If I owned Microsoft, I would buy Yahoo in a New York minute.

    So, what’s next; who will eventually buy-out eBay? Is this where this is leading to?

    Join me in my logo contest for Yahoo’s new logo: http://webdesignbysteve.com/blog/?p=58

  82. What about a 500 million-user social-network without needing active sign-up and media up-load, transfering the content to flickr,maven et al straight from what already exists on x-box/live, windows mobile and Windows o.s., and instead of needing newer technologies like Adobe Air and Google Gears, a direct connection between yahoo.com and vista PC’s?

    Kind regards,

    Shakir Razak

  83. What about a 500 million-user social-network without needing active sign-up and media up-load, transfering the content to flickr,maven et al straight from what already exists on x-box/live, windows mobile and Windows o.s., and instead of needing newer technologies like Adobe Air and Google Gears, a direct connection between yahoo.com and vista PC’s?

    Kind regards,

    Shakir Razak

  84. [...] Microsoft to buy Yahoo Published February 4, 2008 Marketing Tags: Microsoft Yahoo Scoble OK, by now everybody knows and after reading a lot of posts and articles in major newspapers, the one that stands out for me is the posting from Scoble. His view can be read here:Microsoft to buy Yahoo: Ray Ozzie roars. [...]

  85. Yes, it’s a bad idea. Yahoo and MS should just let Google dominate the market with no opposition!

    Brilliant!

    I mean, come on people, a monopoly is bad. You should be supporting this move.

  86. Yes, it’s a bad idea. Yahoo and MS should just let Google dominate the market with no opposition!

    Brilliant!

    I mean, come on people, a monopoly is bad. You should be supporting this move.

  87. @75,

    Anyone who thinks Google can hold on forever is deluding themselves. All good things come to an end. The ad thing cannot go on forever. It just cannot. Sooner or later they are going to have to diversify and find other ways to make money.

    There is going to be a new, better player before long. There always is.

    Take a look at history…

    Altavista was the deal back in the 90s, then Yahoo, then Google. Someone else will step up to the plate before too long. I think that someone else has a much better chance if Microsoft buys Yahoo. If there are three or more major players, it makes it more difficult. With only one of two, it’s much easier to get a small audience, offer great products and services and grow it.

    I’m hoping the deal happens, but MS had better not tamper with the good things like Flickr. Even simply rebranding these services could have a major impact in usage.

  88. @75,

    Anyone who thinks Google can hold on forever is deluding themselves. All good things come to an end. The ad thing cannot go on forever. It just cannot. Sooner or later they are going to have to diversify and find other ways to make money.

    There is going to be a new, better player before long. There always is.

    Take a look at history…

    Altavista was the deal back in the 90s, then Yahoo, then Google. Someone else will step up to the plate before too long. I think that someone else has a much better chance if Microsoft buys Yahoo. If there are three or more major players, it makes it more difficult. With only one of two, it’s much easier to get a small audience, offer great products and services and grow it.

    I’m hoping the deal happens, but MS had better not tamper with the good things like Flickr. Even simply rebranding these services could have a major impact in usage.

  89. @76

    Kind of the point I was making. The difference is that if you allow people to have a virtual monopoly without offering any competitive alternative then the market will stagnate.

    It’s true that in the 90′s and early 00′s that there was much jockeying for position but then I’m not sure that the same market conditions apply now. It would be difficult to see a start up muscling in on Google’s territory these days for example.

  90. @76

    Kind of the point I was making. The difference is that if you allow people to have a virtual monopoly without offering any competitive alternative then the market will stagnate.

    It’s true that in the 90′s and early 00′s that there was much jockeying for position but then I’m not sure that the same market conditions apply now. It would be difficult to see a start up muscling in on Google’s territory these days for example.

  91. @77 Mark,

    You’re right. Market conditions are very different now. Back them, anyone with a good idea was buried in cash by the VCs and angels. Good luck with that now. You almost have to be already profitable before anyone will look at you. The days of free money are over.

    Google will be difficult to muscle in one, but not impossible. Methinks that people are already clamoring for change, but no one has, or can, step up to the plate. Yet. I’m not sure why. Maybe money, maybe they don’t know how to present an idea, maybe they are in fear of failing. Who knows. I’m ready for change myself. The net is beginning to stagnate already.

    No one is really offering anything that radical or different. We have email, RSS, IM, stuff like Qik, Twitter, Flickr. So what if they are all tied together. So what if you can upload videos by phone or know where everyone is at all times. This is still not radical, it’s just incremental progression.

    When they invent the holodeck, I’ll be impressed.

    When they invent avatars that I can interact with, I’ll be impressed. Avatars that derive their power from say, cell towers, much like PoE devices or wirelessly powered devices. There is nothing stopping anyone from doing these things now. I think too many people are focusing only on new/different ways to communicate rather than coming up with new paradigms. Email is boring. Twitter is boring. Web-enabled phones that do everything are boring. Give me an avatar that I can take with me, one that I can dictate messages to, one that can maintain my calendar and remind me of appointments, etc. We have the ability to do this stuff, we are just draining money into making old tech better. No fun…

  92. @77 Mark,

    You’re right. Market conditions are very different now. Back them, anyone with a good idea was buried in cash by the VCs and angels. Good luck with that now. You almost have to be already profitable before anyone will look at you. The days of free money are over.

    Google will be difficult to muscle in one, but not impossible. Methinks that people are already clamoring for change, but no one has, or can, step up to the plate. Yet. I’m not sure why. Maybe money, maybe they don’t know how to present an idea, maybe they are in fear of failing. Who knows. I’m ready for change myself. The net is beginning to stagnate already.

    No one is really offering anything that radical or different. We have email, RSS, IM, stuff like Qik, Twitter, Flickr. So what if they are all tied together. So what if you can upload videos by phone or know where everyone is at all times. This is still not radical, it’s just incremental progression.

    When they invent the holodeck, I’ll be impressed.

    When they invent avatars that I can interact with, I’ll be impressed. Avatars that derive their power from say, cell towers, much like PoE devices or wirelessly powered devices. There is nothing stopping anyone from doing these things now. I think too many people are focusing only on new/different ways to communicate rather than coming up with new paradigms. Email is boring. Twitter is boring. Web-enabled phones that do everything are boring. Give me an avatar that I can take with me, one that I can dictate messages to, one that can maintain my calendar and remind me of appointments, etc. We have the ability to do this stuff, we are just draining money into making old tech better. No fun…

  93. Robert, There’s no question it’s all about Search. This weekend, Tim O’Reilly made a case for e-mail driving the deal, only hours before Google played the antitrust card: citing Microsoft-Yahoo’s dominance in email marketing and portal traffic.

    Maybe Tim was scobleized by this thread. ;-)
    http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/080203-103454

    @Robert – you’re right about the 300 million email users. But how would Microsoft and Yahoo create incremental revenue from the user base? Hotmail (along with other MSN properties) was Microsoft’s strategy (outlined at Searchification) for increasing share of search. So far, no dice.

    I posted on Feb 1 that paid search was driving the hostile bid. So far, no one’s made a cogent argument for another deal driver.
    http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/080201-074425

    @ Danny: Not sure I understand why you’d want Microsoft to spend $2 billion to “simply rent a fair chunk of the web.” How would that knock out AdSense?

    And what kind of ROI would you expect from the $2B investment?

  94. Robert, There’s no question it’s all about Search. This weekend, Tim O’Reilly made a case for e-mail driving the deal, only hours before Google played the antitrust card: citing Microsoft-Yahoo’s dominance in email marketing and portal traffic.

    Maybe Tim was scobleized by this thread. ;-)
    http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/080203-103454

    @Robert – you’re right about the 300 million email users. But how would Microsoft and Yahoo create incremental revenue from the user base? Hotmail (along with other MSN properties) was Microsoft’s strategy (outlined at Searchification) for increasing share of search. So far, no dice.

    I posted on Feb 1 that paid search was driving the hostile bid. So far, no one’s made a cogent argument for another deal driver.
    http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/080201-074425

    @ Danny: Not sure I understand why you’d want Microsoft to spend $2 billion to “simply rent a fair chunk of the web.” How would that knock out AdSense?

    And what kind of ROI would you expect from the $2B investment?

  95. Microsoft has always been about CONTROLLING the user experience. They are not to be trusted with being good NetZines. I hope that those with deep pockets and vision will step up to the plate and partner with Yahoo. Possible white knights: SUN, NewsCorp, Noika, Apple, Cisco… hell, even Google could help them out. The name of the game is to isolate Microsoft into their own inflicted non-standard world. And let them slowly rot therein…..

  96. Microsoft has always been about CONTROLLING the user experience. They are not to be trusted with being good NetZines. I hope that those with deep pockets and vision will step up to the plate and partner with Yahoo. Possible white knights: SUN, NewsCorp, Noika, Apple, Cisco… hell, even Google could help them out. The name of the game is to isolate Microsoft into their own inflicted non-standard world. And let them slowly rot therein…..

  97. [...] Robert Scoble thinks Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo because they are a bit afraid of the trend that more and more people use Google docs instead of Microsoft Office and that this deal could mean that Microsoft will have a shot at all those consumers eager to do their work online instead of trusting it to be save on their own computer. [...]