Friday, February 01, 2008

Microsoft aims to buy Yahoo

Wow. Microsoft just kicked in Yahoo's door and offered them over $44 billion for their company. Three thoughts:

1. That is a LOT of money.

2. Does that mean Microsoft will screw up what Yahoo has managed to do well? Such as Flickr? And semi-well, like Yahoo Mail? I kind of like Yahoo. It's the one non-Microsoft and non-Google company out there and that, for some reason, is reassuring. Sort of, "If Google starts being evil, I can always jump back to a Microsoft alternative."

3. Isn't Microsoft a software company? Why the heck are they trying so hard to get into search? Granted, it can be a lucrative business, but it's not their business. Personally, I think they would be much better served by focusing on improving their software *cough* Vista *cough* and innovating in that arena than trying (repeatedly) to get into search. That's not to say Microsoft shouldn't have an online presence. They should. If I were Microsoft and saw what Google Docs was becoming, I'd be wetting myself on a regular basis trying to figure out a model to get their software to be available as an online app. But that's not search.

Here's a quote from Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, the guy who's going to replace Uncle Bill (or, as Fake Steve Jobs calls him, Beastmaster) when he retires:

"Today, the market is increasingly dominated by one player who is consolidating its dominance through acquisition." Let's stop there and think about who just said that. Microsoft, right? OK. Just wanted to clarify. Read on. "Together, Microsoft and Yahoo! can offer a credible alternative for consumers, advertisers, and publishers."

Soooooo... being a huge, dominant player who maintains its dominance in a market through acquisition is bad, so we (Microsoft) are going to offer to buy (acquisition) the second-largest search company (consolidation).

Pot. Kettle. You know.

Thanks to Engadget for the image. More reading can be found here or here or just about any news site on the Internet.