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143 comments

eat my shorts slashdot !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23459084)

Eat my shorts slashdot !!

Do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23459852)



I prefer to eat to the beat, thank you very much.

Oh well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23459094)

I hope the Vista banners on flickr will be at least smaller than the medium sized thumbs...

How's this going to work?? (5, Insightful)

BlueStile (1257910) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459136)

Obviously, if MSFT is interested in "Yahoo Search" as an effort to mount a challenge against Google, it isn't really interested in Y!'s technology, but rather its traffic. Obviously, that traffic flows mostly from visits to www.yahoo.com.

Now, if MSFT, say, goes through and buys just the Yahoo Search division, it sounds like Yahoo is free to go become a content/media/etc. company free of worrying about Google and search.

My question: who gets domain over the homepage, Yahoo.com? If Yahoo retains Yahoo, but MSFT owns the little search box on the page, then who decides how prominently the search is featured on the homepage, how it is integrated into the content, etc.? Yahoo would have incentive to make the content front and center, and who cares about the search box...

It might be hard for MSFT to integrate all of Yahoo, but it's even harder for MSFT to integrate part of Yahoo...

I still expect a full acquisition to occur. Whether its $32, $33, or $34 or something else, we'll see...

Re:How's this going to work?? (4, Funny)

shanen (462549) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459276)

It's like the vulture circling back to the corpse, except in the case of Microsoft it's the old joke: "Patience, hell. I want to kill something."

Re:How's this going to work?? (3, Interesting)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459490)

I still expect a full acquisition to occur. Whether its $32, $33, or $34 or something else, we'll see...

I was just wondering... Yahoo's stock fell after Microsoft withdrew their original offer. Did it slide all the way back to pre-acquisition-attempt value or did it remain above that?
I knew immediately that Microsoft withdrew only to reduce Yahoo!'s value, but if Yahoo! decide to hold out again, the tactics may prove to be disadvantageous to Microsoft.

All in all, Microsoft is playing catch-up instead of innovating. Somehow, I think they will dominate the search market a year after Linux starts dominating the desktop market.

Re:How's this going to work?? (5, Informative)

BlueStile (1257910) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459536)

YHOO Stock Price (Approximate) Pre-Offer of 31: 19 Immediately after: 30 After initial rejection: 28ish After MSFT walks away: 24 One day later (and since), rumors swirling: 27 After MSFT returns to table: we'll see tomorrow!

Re:How's this going to work?? (4, Insightful)

DJProtoss (589443) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459882)

it didn't drop all the way, and you wouldn't expect it to, since it was pretty likely (but not certain) that MS would be back.

Re:How's this going to work?? (1)

lavardo (683333) | more than 5 years ago | (#23461434)

if Microsoft owns even close to half of the proxy vote in the company, basically, they own the company. They can vote 1/2 on anything that comes up, even voting of re-election of board members.

Re:How's this going to work?? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23461404)

I doubt the price would fall all the way back. If the MSFT deal falls through, YHOO remains for sale and is likely to be bought by someone else. If for no other reason, a defensive ploy to block MSFT might fit somebody's corporate agenda.

Totally agree on MSFT playing catch-up. This acquisition is simply a way to buy their way into the search-based advertising market -- having failed to go it alone.

The trust factor of MS has to be considered. Search engines are not THAT tough to build. Technologically, it's within their grasp. But people just don't WANT to do business with MS. Without a captive market, customers and would-be partners take their business elsewhere.

Their most successful/innovative product is XBox, and they lose money on every single one that ships. The joke of it is, by the time they reach the break even point it will be time to upgrade the hardware and start losing money again.

On the desktop, I predict Apple will do the best job capitalizing on the Vista meltdown. Linux will rule the cheapie subnotebooks and everything below that in the food chain, along with the server world. MSFT will be stuck in the middle, sandwiched between Linux on the low end and Apple on the high end.

I can easily imagine a world where all you need is a cheapie semi-disposable notebook to connect up to some relatively slick server-based apps, with Linux running most or all of it end-to-end. Macs for high-end client side stuff, with MSFT relegated to the recycle bin.

This is a tough spot to be, just ask GM and Ford. They are both stuck between Koreans on the low end of the market, with Japanese and Germans in the luxury sector. They won't be undercutting the Koreans on price or overtaking Lexus/MB/BMW on luxury appeal anytime soon. Meanwhile, they have just enough market share to the point where they can't abandon what they have in the effort to take away market share from anyone else.

Look, you're just a slashdot moron and know jack (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23459628)

cause if you knew anything you would know you knew jack so shudup already

Re:How's this going to work?? (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#23460468)

So once again MSFT is resorting to buying customers.

What's the difference in typing in www.yahoo.com or www.live.com. I will give you this much live.com is better looking though it always seems to give me strange results in the top ten.

MSFT is trying to duplicate google the problem is MSFT can't use their monopoly to force an advantage, since MSFT can't compete they are forced to buy customers.

Web advertising (5, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459138)

Maybe I'm the only one missing the big picture, and in turn, the boat on web advertisements. I just don't get it anymore. It seems like such a waste of money to put up web ads when the average web user simply ignores them and the advanced users block them completely.

Media companies have grown huge on advertising, but they have also spent huge sums to produce and purchase programming that attracted viewers. Online content is nowhere nearly as expensive to produce, and the target web audience is much smaller than TV audiences. I just don't see how online advertising can carry a company much farther than they've already come.

I just don't get it. It seems like anyone trying to sell online advertising space is trying to squeeze pennies out of sheep. For all the effort going in to providing these online advertising spaces, I just can't imagine the payoff being that great.

Re:Web advertising (4, Insightful)

drawfour (791912) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459198)

I completely agree. I ask my friends "when was the last time you intentionally clicked on a web ad, and then actually bought something as a result?". They can't seem to recall. I'm sure there is something to be said for getting the product name out there -- somehow, subconciously, people will remember their product name, but I doubt it's worth that much.

I keep waiting for companies to figure this out, but online advertising keeps growing. I don't get it.

Re:Web advertising (5, Insightful)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459298)

That's just your and your friends' nerdiness.
A good consumer will click on anything shiny, just like (s)he will sit through 20 minutes of ads per show, and buy something based on the ads. Marketing folks aren't dumb - they're highly paid and rating systems show what works and what doesn't.
I don't know if comparable rating systems exist for web advertising though.

Re:Web advertising (2, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459390)

That's just your and your friends' nerdiness.
Not really, my parents don't do that either, and I doubt many others also prefer to buy from online shops they are aware of since earlier. It's a trust thing, and people aren't as stupid as you think. Maybe in the early 2000's, but even my mom is reasonably seasoned as an Internet user these days.

So I think it's not specific to nerds to not buy, but rather a special group of ad-buyers that buy.

Re:Web advertising (5, Insightful)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459564)

You're missing the point. These are still people YOU KNOW. There are people who click on ads, people who think the blink tag is useful, people who pay AOL for their dialup, etc..

Re:Web advertising (2, Funny)

Frekko (749706) | more than 5 years ago | (#23460354)

We should get an answer to this once and for all by the means of a serious and infallible slashdot poll!

Re:Web advertising (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23460678)

You're missing the point. These are still people YOU KNOW. There are people who click on ads, people who think the blink tag is useful, people who pay AOL for their dialup, etc..
Stop being such a pretentious ass. Paying attention to ads isn't a sign of being stupid. Every once in a while, I will see an ad that lets me know of something I didn't know existed.

If you weren't so cocksure that you knew everything already, perhaps you could derive some benefit from targetted ads. You probably use blocklists to block even unintrusive ads, though (lol advertising is TEH EVIL).

Re:Web advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23459652)

So you are extrapolating from you and your parents to the millions of users on the Internet? Have you heard of the concept of sample size?

Re:Web advertising (1)

Rocky1138 (758394) | more than 5 years ago | (#23460870)

That's just your and your friends' nerdiness.
Not really, my parents don't do that either, and I doubt many others also prefer to buy from online shops they are aware of since earlier. It's a trust thing, and people aren't as stupid as you think. Maybe in the early 2000's, but even my mom is reasonably seasoned as an Internet user these days. So I think it's not specific to nerds to not buy, but rather a special group of ad-buyers that buy.

My mom doesn't know anything about a computer.

But, my dad clicked the faux close button on a banner ad once as I was sitting there. I told him he just got owned and he seemed slightly confused.

Yes, there are people out there who click on the ads!!!

Re:Web advertising (1)

Mr. Picklesworth (931427) | more than 5 years ago | (#23462068)

If you ever have someone who says the following...:

-My computer says it has found a virus but it says I have to pay to remove them. Really annoying, too; it did that when I was reading a web site...
-Bitdefender didn't work at all. It just said I have more viruses than last time!
-Should I install SpyCruncher? ...you have met a person who makes web advertising profitable.
It's scary.

Re:Web advertising (2, Interesting)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459654)

Marketing folks aren't dumb - they're highly paid and rating systems show what works and what doesn't.
you dont think the marketing folk would lie to the PHB and pretend to make a difference.

your 1/2 right in your post anybody informed (not sure that's the right word, but meh) enough to read slashdot will have friends that are smart enough not to go, ooooh shiny, clicky, clicky, but I think something has to be said for the fact that marketing folks tell the higher ups their important and sell THAT message really well.

Re:Web advertising (0, Redundant)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#23460580)

I wonder really though just how much of those numbers are "real"? Marketing people are not necessarily geniuses at figuring out what works, but are geniuses at twisting numbers to make it look like it works.

It wouldn't surprise me if parent is right and the actual real numbers show that banners/ads don't generate nearly the revenue that the ad placers claim they do. In that respect, the marketers, not the consumer, may be the bigger cause of the banner/ad nightmare we are in now.

Unfortunately, my daily receipt of email offering discount viagra would seems to indicate that this method works, as there's no middleman and they must somehow be turning a buck. But then I suppose the insanely cheap cost of spamvertising is probably the reason that model really works. I'd be interested to see hard (claimed) numbers for effectiveness for the various marketing methods. Gotta be someone collecting those stats out there...

Re:Web advertising (0)

sticks_us (150624) | more than 5 years ago | (#23460714)

v1 (525388): I wonder really though just how much of those numbers are "real"? Marketing people are not necessarily geniuses at figuring out what works, but are geniuses at twisting numbers to make it look like it works.

You got that right--the pseudoscientists (aka "sociologists," aka "marketers,") seem to have everyone fooled. So fooled, in fact, that after pr0n, advertising is probably the biggest money maker on the internet.

I figure as long as I have the proper ad-blocking plugin installed, I'm immune to the stream of manipulative pap coming from the adservers, so if the gullible viagara customers out there want to subsidize google, they're more than welcome to do so.

Re:Web advertising (3, Insightful)

gtall (79522) | more than 5 years ago | (#23461022)

I think there is a difference between a sponsored link and your generic web ad that one might get on site frequently visited for information and that gets updated daily like a news site. Most people probably ignore those out of necessity since they visit the site too often to waste time on the ads.

However, there have been times when I've been interested in some item, like a particular kind of pen I'm partial to, and Google will return retailers' links. Granted, these are not your typical web ad but more of a simple (paid for) link. But I have clicked on them simply because I want to buy the product.

Gerry

Re:Web advertising (1, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#23461486)

I think there is a difference between a sponsored link and your generic web ad that one might get on site frequently visited for information and that gets updated daily like a news site. Most people probably ignore those out of necessity since they visit the site too often to waste time on the ads.

However, there have been times when I've been interested in some item, like a particular kind of pen I'm partial to, and Google will return retailers' links. Granted, these are not your typical web ad but more of a simple (paid for) link. But I have clicked on them simply because I want to buy the product.

Gerry
When you want a particular product, go to its website or a website of a supplier. NEVER click on ads of any form. Doing so just encourages more ads. If there's something you absolutely want and there's a text ad sitting there taunting you, go search for it. DO NOT CLICK THE AD.

Re:Web advertising (4, Interesting)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 5 years ago | (#23461474)

I wrote a longish reply about this (below). Sure, there is a component of this that is to augment microsoft's web based advertising. No question.

What is really the motivation for this transaction is that Microsoft got caught with its pants down in an emerging field. Again.

A new Internet is developing. (No, really. Hear this one out.) An Internet that is centered around your location (your GPS coordinates) and where you currently are, and what is around you. If the Internet, to date, brought you access to the world, then the next generation of Internet services will bring you access to your community (or will bring your community access to YOU!)

Think of all your data, all your requests, everything, but tagged with GPS coordinates. What fun services can you provide? GPS + Flickr = location and time based picture sharing. Went to a concert? Easily get photos from other people who attended the same event. See? Internet + GPS = fun.

Guess what also can be location based? Yup. Advertising. I won't get into the whole host of ideas here (online coupons, business search with advertising, favored search results, etc etc) but there is a great opportunity here. If people are currently using the Internet to market to the nation/world, then perhaps a different group of people will want to use the Internet to advertise to people in their own community.

For example, a mom-and-pop sandwich shop. Trying to find a good sub shop to go to for lunch? The mom-and-pop business can pay for favored search results. Perhaps dangle a digital coupon to entice your business. A completely different advertising customer and advertising model than we have today.

Microsoft totally has its pants down on the local Internet that is developing behind the scenes. Microsoft will be handing out the money all over the place to build the empire that they neglected to develop themselves. One that Google is totally dominating.... and it isn't even out there to the public... yet.

Re:Web advertising (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23459348)

I completely agree. I ask my friends "when was the last time you intentionally clicked on a web ad, and then actually bought something as a result?".
2 people, a cat and a dog do not count as an accurate survey.

Re:Web advertising (2, Interesting)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459424)

I have intentionally clicked on a google ad, more than once, esp. in Gmail where it is even more targeted. The only reason I didn't buy was due to lack of funds. I'm referring to the single line text ads.

Re:Web advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23459510)

I have intentionally clicked on a google ad, more than once, esp. in Gmail where it is even more targeted. The only reason I didn't buy was due to lack of funds. I'm referring to the single line text ads.
Must wonder closely those two items are related. Do you get a lot of email?

Re:Web advertising (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#23460980)

Nope, but he sends a lot of email. He has plenty of funds, unfortunately due to some arcane banking proviso, he can't actually withdraw any of it without paying in £20000 at a time.

Re:Web advertising (2, Informative)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459784)

I uncheck the "Show Ads" box in Gmail. Strangely, the section of UI that usually shows ads looks like a big empty space. You can tell they designed it around the ads.

Re:Web advertising (4, Interesting)

weave (48069) | more than 5 years ago | (#23460336)

I bought my car in October based on a banner ad. It was an ad for a car named Honda Fit that I had never heard of before. I wanted a small car that had a decent amount of hauling capacity. So I clicked the ad, read the blurb, then went about doing a lot of other digging about the car, joined a Yahoo group for the Fit, etc, etc.

Re:Web advertising (5, Insightful)

SuluSulu (1039126) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459200)

Because regardless of how many hits you get, if you don't tell people that your product exists then no one will ever buy it, and advertising on TV is too expensive, especially, when you are trying to reach a geographically diverse audience.

Re:Web advertising (5, Insightful)

mrcdeckard (810717) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459430)

you certainly are missing the big picture, but i'm sure you're not the only one. the long and the short of it, is that google adwords *work*. maybe not on you and your friends, but in the big picture, they do. microsoft understands this.

google hit the advertising "holy grail" with adwords -- although no one has said/realized it, adwords are what the marketing industry has been wishing for since freud's nephew invented it -- specific and contextual advertising.

before adwords, advertisers mostly had to throw a bunch of shit at the wall and hope that some stuck. billboards and subway ads are a good example. anybody and everybody sees that ad, so if you have a niche or specific market, you have to advertise to 10k people to get to your 100.

radio and newspapers are a bit better -- if you want to advertise your new cat food, you can call the publishers of "cat fancy", and hit closer to the bulls' eye.

adwords allow advertising to a demographic of one. if you sell gloves that are missing the middle finger on one hand (for people who've lost that finger), you could theoretically dial in your adwords to catch that person.

adwords and gmail make it even more powerful. now, instead of catching people who are actively searching the web, you can just filter their email.

i use gmail, and i have actually clicked on a few adwords because i had sent an email to someone asking if they had xyz for sale, and the adwords threw up a link to an online store that did.

adwords are NOT banner ads. they're specific, they're not obnoxiousm, and they work. this is the piece of the pie microsoft wants to in on, and they're trying to acquire yahoo (at least their traffic) to do it.

i may be going too far here, but if they don't get yahoo, they're going to lose out on the (consumer) desktop in a big way -- is there a part of their business that isn't slipping?

mr c

Re:Web advertising (5, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459866)

It's even better than just the targeting. AdWords + Analytics lets you know what you're getting conversions off of and what you aren't. So if you spend $100 on two ads and one is profitable and one isn't, you can dump your budget into the one that's making you money and abandon the other one.

Relevance to users is great, but conversion tracking is the best part of internet advertising.

Re:Web advertising (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 5 years ago | (#23460902)

And to go even further, it is this conversion tracking that pushes budget increases through the chanels of a business bureaucracy.

Did it work?
a. Well, our sales last month were pretty good.
*vs*
b. We spent 1000 dollars and those ads led to 1300 in sales.

If b, well, why not spend 10000 then? This cycle continues! And that is how google is raking it in. Everything else google does is for fun and laughs (business-wise).

Re:Web advertising (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23460350)

With connectivity of people and easy access to the information one wants really, the consumer does rise to power (i.e. actually has the ability to make rational choices) and ads of all sorts, even words, will be history.

Needs of people will be created by the people themselves and capitalists can revert to owning labor to produce stuff that is really wanted.(I'm not saying that that necessarily isn't Britney Spears, though)

Why click on an ad for someone who paid for it, when the community, with its free software tools, will give you more accurate information?

Or maybe not. I don't know.

Re:Web advertising (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#23461102)

You didn't really need to ask the last bit :p

You are right that the rise of the free press and the internet and so on has led to a proliferation of information, but a lot of that 'information' is just lightly disguised advertising, or corporate funded studies and such. There are indepent reviews and such out there which is good, but there is absolutely no reason for corporations to stop advertising as long as idiots^H people keep buying based on ads they see rather than searching for themselves and then going and buying a product. I don't like adverts, but I see no incentive for businesses to stop advertising just because consumers have the ability to seek out products themselves. A lot of consumers will still be lazy and only go for what they already know or have heard is good. I think a good example of that market would be in buying cars. I almost went for a Mitsubishi Colt CZT as my company car but after a lot of looking around for similar priced cars and ended up finding the Skoda Fabia vRS, which has a great price/performance/toys ratio (especially after I added a few options and remapped it).

Re:Web advertising (3, Funny)

pablomme (1270790) | more than 5 years ago | (#23460436)

if you sell gloves that are missing the middle finger on one hand (for people who've lost that finger), you could theoretically dial in your adwords to catch that person.
Easy, they'll be looking for "glovs" on "www.googl.om".

Re:Web advertising (2, Interesting)

DiarmuidBourke (910868) | more than 5 years ago | (#23460968)

Ok, I get your point. make ads unintrusive and relevant and they will sell. Now what I don't understand is that Yahoo and Microsoft are trying to tap into that market, but I can't help thinking they're "really", like "really really" missing the mark, simply by looking at their homepages and comparing them to google. They're still pushing flash and animated everything ads to people.

Another point of note is the geographic areas they seem to target. I live in Ireland and find absolutely nothing of interest on msn.ie and yahoo.co.uk, it's all incredibly americanized something Irish people arn't interested in (apart from US tv shows)

Re:Web advertising (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 5 years ago | (#23462130)

You're already modded up pretty high, so I'll respond instead of modding again.

Here's my anecdotal experience as a user of AdWords: several years ago, I started an online store to sell tabletop games. Started with just GW stuff (Warhammer and 40k), but planned on expanding into other areas before the divorce threw a monkey wrench into the works. In any event, all of my advertising was done through Yahoo and Google's ad systems.

The results? Between the two, the store turned a profit within three months. Even though I kept the max amount per click very low (like a dime a click), I still got hundreds of clicks per day, and about 10% of those actually bought something.

Before this experience, I was like most Slashdot readers. I don't typically click on ads, so I assumed that most people don't. Turns out, they do, and they do all day long.

Anyone who tells you online advertising doesn't work has never used it themselves as a seller of a product or service.

Re:Web advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23459600)

Maybe I'm the only one missing the big picture

I just don't get it anymore.
.

I just don't see how online advertising can carry a company much farther than they've already come

I just don't get it.

I just can't imagine the payoff being that great.
For a guy who doesn't get it, you sure write a lot. Look, Google makes a $1 billion per quarter through pretty much just advertising. A lot of that money comes through CPC advertising, so there are a lot of people who are clicking on ads.

Re:Web advertising (1)

TheSeer2 (949925) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459648)

Actually, I consider myself an advanced user with all the adblock and noscript she-bang. But, because I'm actually capable of spending money online, I have found myself clicking (although this is /very/ rare) online ads because they're advertising a product I'm interested in.

Re:Web advertising (1)

retooh (1291832) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459902)

I don't know one person that gets anything but annoyed from online advertisements... However, Microsoft could be after what the millions of people use Yahoo to do everyday, search the internet? Yahoo's search data would give Microsoft access to globs of information. Not only to obviously annoy more people, but give Microsoft more access to a far greater pool of public interest. I am not a lawyer, nor do I know Yahoo's user agreement, but does Yahoo have the ability to sell Microsoft stores of search data?

Re:Web advertising (2, Insightful)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 5 years ago | (#23460178)

Advertising is most effective when it is relevant to the person seeing it. Web advertising was like magazine advertising for a long time. You offered got paid a very small amount of money for a unit of space for every visitor to your site, more if they clicked and ad and even more if they actually bought something. In order to get ads on your site you as the webmaster would fill out a form telling the advertisers what sort of content you typically posted. A video game website would say their content is about video games so advertisers would display ads relevant to people reading about video games.

What Google (and others) have done is take that process a step further and figure out automatically what ought to be relevant to each individual website visitor. If someone buys AdWords for an upcoming game and someone writes about that game on their website ads for that game will appear specifically on that article. The actual content of websites is now valuable to advertisers, not just the number of ad pixels on the screen. While video games might be relevant to the readers of Joystiq and an for a particular game shown to a Joystiq visitor reading an article about that game is super relevant. Someone can not only read about Super Deluxe Fun Time Solitaire but buy it right then and there.

Besides anonymous targeted advertising Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft all have the ability to mine their millions of user account profiles to target ads specifically for individuals. Microsoft has linked up Passport accounts with their various MSN services, Hotmail, and XBox Live. MSN can thus correlate tons of online behavior and sell individual behavior to advertisers. They know what games people are playing on XBox Live, who their MSN Messenger and XBox Live friends are and what they're playing, things they've bought on MSN Shopping (or their affiliates) recently, and what their recent browsing behavior is (to sites with MSN advertising), and what sort of e-mail they're getting. With all of this they can make some pretty good guesses about what that person might buy in the immediate future. If they're browsing Joystiq and have been playing a lot of Halo 3 and were searching for Quake Wars reviews the next ad they might see is one for Quake Wars. Microsoft wants Yahoo because that's tens of millions of more user profiles to mine for advertising data.

Re:Web advertising (1)

redGiraffe (189625) | more than 5 years ago | (#23460386)

In order to see The_Big_Picture (TBP) you have to be part of TBP. :)

I have clients who run ecommerce stores and their most successful marketing is done online (mostly google adwords).

What sort of words they use and how much they pay has a huge impact on their business - it works! I have no idea who clicks through (and buys the products), because its not me..

Re:Web advertising (1)

Evro (18923) | more than 5 years ago | (#23460544)

Anecdotes aside, people are clicking these like mad, and some terms gross Google upwards of US$5.00 per click. So although you may not, and your friends may not, they are certainly being clicked. This accounts for the vast majority of Google's earnings, so if you think nobody's clicking just look at their financials. People are clicking. People do click.

Re:Web advertising (1)

Gabbermatt (1120399) | more than 5 years ago | (#23460842)

I would say one reason that web advertising is successful is that you can better target your ads at your audience.

Ichan Will Force Yahoo's Hand (5, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459142)

As soon as Carl Ichan got involved it was almost a forgone conclusion that Microsoft would be back to deal with Yahoo given Ichan's reputation for bringing together bickering parties in merger deals which deliver value to the shareholders (including Ichan). I had previously predicted that Yahoo would be able to resist a takeover offer from Microsoft (that was before Ichan got involved and started buying millions of shares) but even then I thought that it was a bit strange for Yahoo to turn down a 70%+ premium on their share price (initial offer of Microsoft) to be acquired (a good price by almost any recknoning, irrespective of the long term outcome of the merger). The onus will now be upon the Yahoo board to detail their plan to the shareholders and prove that they can offer a better value with a Google partnership (which seems to be their proposed direction) than Ichan (who will push for resumption of talks with Microsoft in light of a limited alternative pool of qualified bidders) can with a resumption of talks and possibly a sale to Microsoft. Even if Yahoo manages to hold off Ichan, they would really have to outperform in the next 3-5 years to beat the upfront 70%+ premium that they originally turned down to remain independent and the prosepct of a protacted duel with Ichan will make that independent stance even tougher to justify in the months ahead (possibly allowing Ichan to buy up more battered Yahoo shares and strengthen his hand even more).

Headlines after the merger (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23459234)

Icahn Forces Yahoo To Pick Up The Soap!!

Microsoft Embraces and Extends, Upon Completion Balmer Shouts YAHOO!!

Re:Ichan Will Force Yahoo's Hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23459328)

whitespace is your friend

Re:Ichan Will Force Yahoo's Hand (2, Interesting)

weave (48069) | more than 5 years ago | (#23460392)

Icahn did absolute wonders for TWA when he bought them, and many other companies

/sarcasm

If Icahn gets control and Microsoft doesn't buy it all, expect Yahoo to be broken up into little pieces and sold off bit by bit if that's determined to be the most profitable thing for him. We may be seeing that happen now. Icahn gets a Board in there friendly to him, Yahoo only sells search to Microsoft, then starts selling off what's left to other companies.

I'd suspect if Microsoft buys all of it, I bet they absorb search and sell off the rest as well.

Yahoo! Is! Dead! and doesn't know it yet.

What's the MS kill list for this year (4, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459188)

ISO,OLPC... soon Yahoo? Also, who is paying for all the Novel-Microsoft ads all over the internet?

Re:What's the MS kill list for this year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23460406)

What ads? I don't see any?

Hmmm, this familiar? (0, Redundant)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459254)

Duck season!
Yahoo season!
Duck Season!
Yahoo Season!
Yahoo Season Fire!
*face foot of soot*

Re:Hmmm, this familiar? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459386)

No, no, no, no, no. Kid's today...

"Duck Season!"
"YAHOO Season!"
"Duck Season!"
"YAHOO Season!"
"Yahoo Season!"
"DUCK Season - FIRE!!"
(Daffy's beak gets blown around to the back of his head)

Re:Hmmm, this familiar? (1)

Bonobo_Unknown (925651) | more than 5 years ago | (#23461600)

actually both happened... the original poster's version was when Daffy tried the same trick, reversing the order, but it came off badly for him...

Freedom a la Microsoft (4, Interesting)

shanen (462549) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459258)

Basically Microsoft is using their cash clout to destroy the value of other companies. If you don't sell out when they ask nicely, then they'll just make you a worse offer once the turmoil sets in. Microsoft figures they asked nicely, eh?

Other times when their nice asking was refused, Microsoft just created an approximately equivalent service or product and swallowed the losses until the original company was destroyed. I think Palm was probably the best example of that, though it's quite a stretch to call Windows Mobile even vaguely similar. (Actually, in that case they did most of the damage by using advertising to drive Palm away from their original objectives.)

I love freedom and democracy, and therefore I conclude I must hate Microsoft. Freedom is about informed choices among real options, not limited to choosing today's flavor of Microsoft's poisonous cruft. They should cut Microsoft into four or five pieces and force them to compete against each other and against Linux and Apple. That would give us real choices and lead to much faster development of much better software. It would also prevent any part of Microsoft from getting so fat as to go around destroying other companies and other markets, Yahoo and online advertising merely being the latest targets.

Re:Freedom a la Microsoft (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23459312)

Basically you don't understand business. If you love freedom and democracy, then instead of irrationally hating Microsoft you should rationally aknowledge that Yahoo sold out to the public to make money in trade of freedom. They also had the freedom to go to other companies for a better offer, which they tried to do, and failed. Do not confuse their failure to retain private ownership or to find a better bid as a lack of democracy. Rather, what we see unfolding is truly the result of freedom (except mayve anti-trust concerns limiting Google's ability to bid).

Re:Freedom a la Microsoft (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23459826)

"Whats good for General Bullmoose is whats good for the U.S.A.
And by Dow Jones and all their little averages,
Dont you forget it! Right, boys?"

With apologies to the creators of Li'l Abner

Mod me flamebait or troll if you like, but imo, corporations and central banking are more conducive to fascism then a free democracy. Corporations are a reaction to high taxation, particularly for inheritance taxes in many cases, as well as restrictive monetary control. So in some ways they can be a counterbalance to government, but mind you they will seek to control it as much as they can within the scope of the power they can obtain. Mergers are little more then an expansion of power.

Corporations used to set up their own little towns for their employees to live, get their homes from the corporation, their light, their heat and they got food, clothing etc from the company store. Americans ended up having to take up arms to get out of that trap. Have to wonder though if the corporations have just learned to spread the debt.

Of course, at least now, we can still chose to stay out of a large part of that game if not all. Let's make sure we don't end up singing along with Tennesee Ernie Ford: "another day older and deeper in debt,,,,,,I owe my soul to the company store". Entrepreneurship needs to make a comeback, however the plans for a new business can become patentedly absurd.

Re:Freedom a la Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23461910)

what has all that to do with freedom. I think freedom was never the freedom of the rich and powerful to do as they please! This kind of unrestrained capitalism destroys freedom.

Re:Freedom a la Microsoft (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459540)

If you love freedom and democracy, you have to love competition. And if you love competition, you have to be careful about Google.

They have a large percent of the search "market"; they have been offering all sorts of exclusive and semi-exclusive deals to various mobile providers; and they've been buying up competition for a while.

It can only be good if they have at least one huge tough mean and rich competitor that hates their guts.

Re:Freedom a la Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23459846)

It sounds like you "love freedom and democracy" as long as those involved make the "right" choices, i.e. the ones you agree with. This is the same sort of "freedom and democracy" loved by despots across the world.

Firms like Microsoft and Google, with a few very successful businesses (or one in Google's case) invariably invest their surplus profits in ventures they expect to provide a high return in the long run. It's really no different to businesses funded by venture capitalists or even bank loans. That's the way markets and competition work.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23459334)

This runs counter to everything Yahoo has been trying to do with Apex and the newspaper consortium and relevance improvement. Apex is designed to provide a scalable ad exchange to connect advertisers and publishers across the Yahoo network and its partner sites.

It would be difficult to deploy and expand the effort if search is suddenly yanked out of Yahoo. There's a lot of coordinate between departments and divisions. That's difficult enough in any large corporate environment. Suddenly they're going to do that between two different companies?

And search is profitable for Yahoo. Why would Yahoo want to part with it? Management thinks (believe it or not) that they've got a good plan moving forward. And they may well be right about that. They've analyzed where things went wrong and are implementing plans to deal with weak areas and leverage the ones where Yahoo is strong.

Optimal strategy for Microsoft now (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459356)

  • Wait for Icahn to get a majority on the board.
  • Cut a deal with Icahn for the parts of Yahoo they want.
  • Let Icahn find buyers for the rest of the assets.
  • Profit!

This makes more sense than buying the whole company, which is way overpriced and overstaffed for its revenue. All Microsoft really needs, after all, is the brand, so they can drive traffic to MSN.

Re:Optimal strategy for Microsoft now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23461800)

That makes no sense at all.
First Icahn is only there to sell his shares with profit it is a nice opportunity for a rich asshole n way he is going to be left with the difficult pieces of yahoo.
second if you are going to try to drive the current yahoo users to msn I am very sure that yuo wil drive most of them to google instead. Msn and hotmail are a piece's of shit.

The Empire Strikes Back (1)

EnrikeKr (1268748) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459388)

The Empire Strikes Back... It seems like that, but may be funny. See Kill Rates. [killrates.com]

Re:The Empire Strikes Back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23459418)

I don't get it.

Re:The Empire Strikes Back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23459872)

Mirror mirron on the wall who is the prettiest of them all.

Match Made in Heaven! (4, Funny)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459410)

I've always thought of M$ as a collection of smart, but arrogant yahoos. Now they can bully their way into buying the domain name that fits them best. [flame off]

Why? (4, Insightful)

Nomen Publicus (1150725) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459514)

I'm still not convinced that we know why Microsoft wants Yahoo. Is there nothing else that Microsoft can do with $40 billion? Is there no Microsoft service or product that needs more investment?

Re:Why? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459576)

I keep thinking the same thing. why does MS really need yahoo? what kind of return do they think they will get? 40 billion could certainly do better else where. if it were me and google was my aim, i'd simply use the 40 billion to steal employee's off google and get them to inject The Right Stuff tm into MSN.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459592)

That is what I wonder too.

I am not an anti-MS troll at all, but I do think this highlights MS weakness. Perhaps the entire company did revolve around Bill, and with him stepping out more and more, it seems to directly correlate to the loss of innovation and competitiveness at MS. They were not able to turn themselves on a dime to adapt to the Internet as I believe they needed to about 10 years ago. Google is consistently coming up with AMAZING stuff that MS isn't even close to matching (have you actually tried to use your hotmail account lately?)

It's getting very obvious now.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23462148)

Yes it's a great spam collection service and hey, if I ever feel that i'm "not satisfying her" or i need to "stay harder longer" or even if I just want to "work from home" I know where to look!

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

daemonburrito (1026186) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459596)

I agree.

My pet theory is that they are actually out to destroy competing application platforms, in this case LAMP(php) + YUI.

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

ardle (523599) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459710)

Is there nothing else that Microsoft can do with $40 billion?
It's not their $40 billion. Well, only ~$20bn is. The rest of the cash is going to come from loans, remember?

Who's going to lend MS $20bn to buy a Web company?

Who's going to lend them $20bn to buy an advertising company in a recession?

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

hostyle (773991) | more than 5 years ago | (#23459782)

Its not exactly going to be a 100% mortgage. MS make money - a lot of it - from OEM OS sales and Office. Financial institutions will be falling all over themselves to get a grasp of that empire.

Google make a hell of a lot of money from ads, and this is what this buy-out is about in the end, competing for some of googles ad money. Financial institutions love money, so how exactly can they lose here?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23459794)

No.

Duh!

*rolls eyes*.

(seriously, the desktop is now transitioning towards web apps, and it's a good idea for MSFT to scramble towards a better piece of this looming pie when their core product, Windows, will become less relevant.)

Re:Why? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23461774)

I can think of two likely reasons:

1) Microsoft think that growth in the advertising market and the possible capture of market share from Google will be enough to provide a good return on the investment

2) Microsoft want to reduce the rents Google can collect from its dominant position in web search, thereby making Google less able to invest in products that challenge Microsoft's dominant positions in operating systems and applications

Technology firms that are successful in one market often seem to do things that look like 2) above. E.g. Novell had a very dominant position in network operating systems, and when Microsoft positioned NT Server for that market, Novell reacted by trying to offer a competitor to Microsoft Office, in order to reduce Microsoft's rents from its dominant position in the office suite market (thereby reducing its ability to invest in development of NT Server). Sun tried to do the same thing when threatened by Intel and AMD hardware running Windows, by buying StarOffice, and also tried to attack Windows in the OS market by pushing the 'Java platform' as an alternative.

Novell and Sun both failed abysmally to dent Microsoft's position in applications (and operating systems), and probably did more harm to themselves by wasting resources attacking Office (and Windows) instead of defending their positions (specifically, Novell took too long to realise it had to move from IPX to TCP/IP). The same thing could happen with a Microsoft attempt to use Yahoo to challenge Google, but in general I'd say Microsoft's management are a lot cleverer than Novell's or Sun's, and Microsoft have massively more resources. The thing is, Google's management are pretty clever too (Eric Schmidt may have failed at Novell, but it was more a case of not being able to stop the Titanic sinking after his predecessors had already run into the iceberg), and Google have a lot of resources as well.

In the best case, a ramping up of Microsoft's challenge to Google, and Google's to Microsoft, will lead to increased competitive pressure in both markets (which will reduce both firms' profits, but increase consumer surplus more than enough to compensate), but without a negative impact on the ability of either firm to invest in R&D.

Re:Why? (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 5 years ago | (#23461966)

I'm still not convinced that we know why Microsoft wants Yahoo. Is there nothing else that Microsoft can do with $40 billion?
What part of "Ballmer wants to fucking kill Google" wasn't clear enough?

Who didn't see this coming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23459704)

Come on?

fir57 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23460046)

lube or we sell approximately 90% in ratio of 5 to Addreeses wilL Goodbye...she had uncover a story of GNAA (GAY NIGGER Encountered while lead developers

Ad Crumenum Fallacy (2, Insightful)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 5 years ago | (#23460140)

WRT Mr Icahn...

Just goes to show that just coz you have a shed load of money, doesn't mean you have the first clue how you got it.

Maybe the board of Yahoo actually know what they are doing, because Microsoft seem to want this so bad, it hurts.

Not so bad (3, Insightful)

acb (2797) | more than 5 years ago | (#23460528)

As long as Yahoo gets to keep its open technologies (the Flickr API, Pipes, &c.), that's fine with me. Let Microsoft spend their cash reserves on a second-tier search engine.

Having said that, it's probably still prudent to back up your Flickr and del.icio.us accounts, especially if you don't use Windows.

Re:Not so bad (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 5 years ago | (#23460796)

Having said that, it's probably still prudent to back up your Flickr and del.icio.us accounts, especially if you don't use Windows.

Why anyone would trust any third party company/site with important data that they don't have another copy of themselves I don't know...

Ballmer is crazy (2, Interesting)

LinuxFreakus (613194) | more than 5 years ago | (#23461096)

The proposed deal didn't make sense before, and it makes even less sense now. If Microsoft takes just search from yahoo, then the rest of Yahoo will be irrelevant within a year. Yahoo would be stupid to give up search.

The only way this can end well is if Microsoft just backs away and pretends that none of this ever happened.

There is just no getting around the fact that Yahoo is itself struggling to survive against google, and Microsoft has already pretty much admitted they can't compete with Google in search... I mean, didn't anyone ever tell Ballmer that two wrongs don't make a right?

Re:Ballmer is crazy (2, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#23462034)

Ballmer is an executive leading a company. The job of such a person is to immediately make a large and costly change in the company. The change itself is determined almost at random - these people aren't particularly good at analyzing this sort of thing. Just take a look at the success rate of this sort of project taken on by a company's new CEO. Sometimes it works, and a bit more often it doesn't. It's just a roll of the dice.

The point is that if it doesn't hurt MS, Ballmer comes off looking good. He did something that shaped the industry, and it didn't fail. If it turns out great, then Ballmer is a visionary. If it fails miserably, he takes his massive fortune and gets a job either with a lower profile company (ooh, our new CEO is the guy who just ran MS!) or with a politician (like Carly Fiorina and McCain). They don't know what will work going in, but they win no matter what. They excel at one thing: advertising themselves.

There are exceptions. Bill Gates, no matter what else you say about him, wasn't a wild gambler. He cared about the company itself, for obvious reasons. Ballmer, though, is no Bill Gates, and to him MS is a company, not an identity.

Creepy (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#23461126)

Microsoft is becoming that chic that boiled the bunny in Fatal Attraction.

Yahoo! must be thinking: "Look, we had some laughs, talked about getting serious but hey, it just ain't working out.
And Microsoft is like: "I just won't be ignored!"

Reason: The core of Microsoft's interest (2, Interesting)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 5 years ago | (#23461296)

I wrote paragraph after paragraph here, but nobody will read it. So let me condense:

This deal IS and always WAS about search. But not so much today's search. Tomorrow's search. Microsoft is playing for a market that exist... yet.

Online service are going to get a new focus, which is based on mobile computing and GPS. Your GPS coordinates will become a very valuable piece of data in numerous new online services, and will add flavor to existing services.

This will open the door to what I call the "local Internet" or the "location-based Internet". If the Internet to date has brought people access to the nation or the world, the local Internet will bring people greater information/access in their own communities.

Google is so far ahead of everyone else in this field, it is laughable. They've been playing the game well in advance of everyone else. Microsoft has almost nothing. Yahoo appears to be the second place player (and I'd argue a distant second).

Microsoft needs to play catch-up in the field that they, once again, recognized too late. Acquisition.

So, the deal may have the blanket of "search", but the desire behind it is more specific than that. They are looking to get their foot in the door of the NEXT generation of Internet services, specifically, Local Internet search.

Yahoo and AOL (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 5 years ago | (#23461870)

Coming from a friend of mine at AOL, Yahoo is courting AOL to give both of them a better shot at competing with MS. The last thing that Yahoo or AOL want it to give MS more shares in online advertising. So I'd venture to guess that by the end of the year we'll see an AOL/Yahoo merger.
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