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Why Microsoft Is Chasing Yahoo

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the jeeves-wanted-to-much-money dept.

Microsoft 245

latif writes "Microsoft has been chasing Yahoo for quite a while now. Most people think that it all started with Microsoft's acquisition bid for Yahoo, but this is not so. It is well-known that Microsoft and Yahoo have been negotiating since at least May of 2006, and may have been negotiating since 2003. I have done a thorough analysis utilizing information made public over the past five years and my analysis suggests that most people are completely wrong about what Microsoft wants from Yahoo."

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It's clearly their last chance (0, Troll)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 6 years ago | (#24117525)

They goofed wft a lot of internet things. Too little too late though.

IT'S BACK!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24117635)

http://www.goatse.cx/

Now more shocking than ever!

Pretending they have a chance. (4, Insightful)

myCopyWrong (1310641) | more than 6 years ago | (#24117819)

They have to show revenue growth but it is impossible. What do they have without their monopoly? A lot of third rate code that no one wants. Between Vista and Open Office, they are showing revenue problems. Buying Yahoo makes it look like they can extend their monopoly to the web but it's Hotamail all over again. They are proving that they can spend even more money to be an also ran. At best they can crush and rob Yahoo, but that won't do anything to Google or anyone else who wants to run services with free software. The harder M$ tries, the more obvious it is that their game is over.

Re:Pretending they have a chance. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24117873)

They have to show revenue growth but it is impossible. What do they have without their monopoly? A lot of third rate code that no one wants. Between Vista and Open Office, they are showing revenue problems. Buying Yahoo makes it look like they can extend their monopoly to the web but it's Hotamail all over again. They are proving that they can spend even more money to be an also ran. At best they can crush and rob Yahoo, but that won't do anything to Google or anyone else who wants to run services with free software. The harder M$ tries, the more obvious it is that their game is over.

Re:Pretending they have a chance. (5, Insightful)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118761)

Yup. Over indeed it is, as their crashing stock and sales shows......

Wait a minute....

Re:Pretending they have a chance. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24119207)

Heh... Stock valuation doesn't indicate anything save what price a shareseller is willing to part with his shares over.

It doesn't, overall, indicate anything of the state of affairs within the company or it's actual overall health. They don't have the cash war-chest they used to have (they paid out dividends recently, remember...) and Vista's a flop and Office is sitting stagnant compared to it's past sales.

Not sitting as pretty in the long term as the stock price would lead you to believe it is.

Re:Pretending they have a chance. (1)

rcallan (1256716) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119397)

enron?

Re:Pretending they have a chance. (5, Interesting)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119623)

Microsoft's stock performance has at best been average compared to the NASDAQ during the last 10 years. IBM has actually been a stronger performer. Microsoft's spectacular growth years were between 1995 and 1998.

Microsoft's 2008 Q1 income sounds kind of impressive (20-25% growth over last year) until one realizes that that is due to exchange rate changes, not new business.

Microsoft Live has about as much mindshare (search volume) as Yahoo's failed Yahoo 360. Clearly, Microsoft is aiming for the very top somewhere, but not in on-line services.

http://google.com/trends?q=microsoft+live%2Cyahoo+360&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0 [google.com]

Blogspot alone trounces Microsoft's entire Live effort.

http://google.com/trends?q=microsoft+live%2Cyahoo+360%2Cblogspot&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0 [google.com]

Time to look for another job, perhaps? Or can we look forward to another FUD campaign from Steve "200 patents" Ballmer?

Re:Pretending they have a chance. (5, Interesting)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118857)

I wish I could mod this post "-1: Wishful Thinking."

No matter how much you hate Microsoft or boldly state that their business has obviously failed, it doesn't actually make it true. Open Office is causing MS revenue problems? Yeah, right. Let's try to stick to discussing how things are in the world we actually live in.

As far as this goes:

At best they can crush and rob Yahoo, but that won't do anything to Google or anyone else who wants to run services with free software.

If TFA is correct, they could do an awful lot to Google by consuming Yahoo. Not by competing in the marketplace but with the terrible power of patents.

Re:Pretending they have a chance. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24119707)

I wish I could mod this post "-1: Wishful Thinking."

Amen to that, brother.

Slashdot is an odd place. While there are a lot of posters here whose contributions I greatly enjoy, it's chock-full of bullshit liars who live in an anti-Microsoft fantasy land. If I had a nickel for every "I work for a Fortune 500 and we're ditching Microsoft/Adobe/IBM/CorporateSoftwareWhippingboy" anecdote I've read here, I could retire and live off the interest. In their made up little world, .NET could never be used for an enterprise application, their parents/grandparents have all ditched Windows for Linux, and Ron Paul is currently statistically favored to win the Presidency of the United States.

Thankfully, these people probably don't wield much influence outside of the online world (or really in it, if we're going to be honest about it.) I do wish they'd migrate over to digg, where their "Microsoft infidels are committing mass-suicide in the streets" FUD would be more at home, but still.

Re:Pretending they have a chance. (4, Interesting)

fortyonejb (1116789) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118923)

Random predictions of MS's demise are as old as the day is long. Free software has been the panacea since Windows 1 came about. The folks at MS must know something you don't as I'm sure they've made more money than you. Whether or not you agree with MS, they achieved their goal, make a lot of money. Whats obvious is that you want their game to be over because you disagree with it. Unfortunately no one cares what you want.

Jealousy (-1, Troll)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 6 years ago | (#24117599)

Microsoft is just jealous of software companies that people actually like.

Re:Jealousy (5, Insightful)

stokessd (89903) | more than 6 years ago | (#24117685)

ARE there software companies that people actually like?! Google used to be up there, but they keep poking at the "do no evil" mantra. Every other software company I can think of has a core group of users that like the product, but those same folks also seem pretty ambivalent about the company.

It seems that the hardware companies get the love because you can touch the shiny. Examples: Tivo, Apple, Harley Davidson, Crispy Creme...

Sheldon

Re:Jealousy (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24117755)

Krispy Kremes have a soft filling though...

Re:Jealousy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24118983)

mod parent informative

brain and brain... what is brain? (3, Funny)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118503)

Apple is a software company. The MacBook or iPhone you get with your copy of OSX is just part of the packaging.

Re:brain and brain... what is brain? (1, Informative)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118751)

Aren't they a "computer" company, because that's what they produce and sell? They sell the hardware & software (what makes a computer) together.

Re:brain and brain... what is brain? (3, Insightful)

GeffDE (712146) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119111)

Backwards. That copy of OS X you get with your MacBook or iPhone is a selling point for the hardware. Apple makes diddly on their software (~$140 million for the release of Leopard and you can bet that sales of iLife and iWork will be less than that...), compared to the ~$2.5 billion they make per quarter on sales of hardware.

Re:brain and brain... what is brain? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119429)

Err, you want us to send down a rope to haul you up after the point gets done whooshing by? :)

(IOW, he was kidding) :)

/P

Re:Jealousy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24119157)

The motto is "Don't be evil" not "Do no evil". There is a distinct difference between the two.

The reason is obvious! (5, Funny)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#24117643)

Microsoft just wants to make their name really exciting. When they buy / merge with Yahoo! they can combine the names and all of a sudden "Microsoft" becomes, "Microsoft!" - the most exciting company ever! When that happens be on the look out for "Windows 7!"

Re:The reason is obvious! (5, Funny)

syrinx (106469) | more than 6 years ago | (#24117769)

I was guessing Microhoo! Then when they merge with Google/Youtube, they can be Microhoogletube!

Add in Oracle and they can be Microhoogletubacle!

Re:The reason is obvious! (1)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 6 years ago | (#24117871)

You can stop now. Before we get to Microhoogletubaclebuntu.

Re:The reason is obvious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24118519)

Whogle myMoogle?

Too Bad! (4, Funny)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118639)

They could become "MicroHooHoo"!

Re:Too Bad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24119371)

That would require an acquisition of the Yoo-Hoo chocolaty drink company.

Re:The reason is obvious! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24119773)

So long as Oracle doesn't buy out Debian. That would be a debacle.

Re:The reason is obvious! (5, Funny)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118123)

When that happens be on the look out for "Windows 7!"

Windows 7! = Windows 5040?

Re:The reason is obvious! (1)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118439)

When that happens be on the look out for "Windows 7!"

Windows 7! = Windows 5040?

Har har...Statistician or mathematician?

I bet that'll be the release date though. :P

Re:The reason is obvious! (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118627)

Windows 3.!1?

Re:The reason is obvious! (2, Funny)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119213)

Windows 7! = Windows 5040?

Given how long Vista has taken them I think that's quite likely.

Re:The reason is obvious! (1)

tripmine (1160123) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118279)

If all they want from yahoo is the "!", why don't they bring back Microsoft Plus!?!? (??)

Re:The reason is obvious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24118287)

When that happens be on the look out for "Windows 7!"

Windows 7! ? I've heard of version inflation, but going from version 6 to version 5040 in one step is really over the top.

Re:The reason is obvious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24118581)

Windows 7! = Windows 5040. Heaven forbid.

Re:The reason is obvious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24118919)

Perhaps they chased Yahoo! because if they have chased Google, their employees hould have either had to stand up (very tiring!) or had to sit on the floor (legs sleeping due to bad blood circulation, especially if sitting Japanese style).

Re:The reason is obvious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24119169)

This is a 'buying a community' instead of a 'building a community' play imo.

-AC for obvious reasons

Perfect Strangers ? (5, Funny)

ad0n (1171681) | more than 6 years ago | (#24117653)

From the linked article: The Microsoft bid never made sense from a business perspective either. Yahoo has always had stale search offerings, second rate search technology, and a mediocre unmotivated workforce. Yahoo derives its value primarily from the massive web-traffic the company controls, but the cost of controlling this web-traffic is likely to be prohibitive for Microsoft

Second rate, stale, mediocre, unmotivated: sounds like a perfect fit for the Microsoft empire.

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (3, Interesting)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#24117857)

Well if I were a second rate, stale, mediocre, and unmotivated employee I might take it upon myself to use some of my free time to eliminate that page from Yahoo's index. Then I'd create my own page saying something similar (or worse) about the author of the story... and I'd make sure it was #1 if you searched for his name. :P

declining marginal relevance of Yahoo bombing (2, Funny)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118565)

If the Pope claps one hand on a tree, which falls over in the woods and lands on some bear scat, does anyone then refer to Google Bombs as Yahoo Bombs?

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (1)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118599)

Ehh, I'll get to it.

Sincerely,

Yahoo! employee

Re:missed opportunity (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119329)

Should have signed that "Jerry Yang".

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (5, Insightful)

kriston (7886) | more than 6 years ago | (#24117913)

Wow. Yahoo definitely does not have stale search offerings or second-rate search technology.

Just because you're not the flavor-of-the-month search engine doesn't mean your technology is stale or second rate.

The only thing I can agree with is the unmotivated workforce--but they are in no way a mediocre bunch.

YHOO survived the dot-com bust because they are a well-diversified and complete web service company.
GOOG is striving to become that, but GOOG is flavor-of-the month because GOOG is the glamorous company that avoided the dot-com bust because they started later.

Come on, try to be objective when comparing YHOO and GOOG.

Good press does not necessarily mean better company.

Bad press does not necessarily mean worse company.

It's a shame so many of you feel this way without any sort of objective research.

.

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24118455)

Just because you're not the flavor-of-the-month search engine doesn't mean your technology is stale or second rate.

Except that Google's become synonymous with search and has pretty much owned search for the last half decade -- and Yahoo has made no appreciable gains. I would say by definition Yahoo is at least second-rate. I don't think you can call a market leader for years running, with a brand ubiquity like they've got, a "flavor of the month".

When was the last time you heard someone tell someone to "just Yahoo that" or "I AltaVista'd so-and-so"?

I work with several ex-Yahoos, they're all wonderful and bright people... but Yahoo needs to adopt the Avis mentality and try harder. They're behind in search, Musicmatch->Y! Music didn't pan out, and they've got a whole raft of other unneeded sites/services. (omg.yahoo.com anyone ? )

Living in denial about your competitive ecosystem is the surest ticket to irrelevance and extinction.

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24119219)

Hey, guess what? Yahoo is a profitably, growing company. Thats what's getting lost in all this. We just aren't google. What we do is very difficult and frankly I find it pretty motivating. Maybe the business people are unmotivated and mediocre, I doubt it, but I can't really tell. In general tech people at y are having a blast. We have to deliver 7.5 billion page views a month. Some properties get more than ten thousand requests per second. That makes every problem hard and interesting, which for a geek is about all you need to be motivated.

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119897)

Yeah well, "to yahoo" or "to altavista" make lousy verbs. They just don't fit the general language very well.
OTOH, "to google" does, and I guess that really helped them establish their brand and make it ubiquitous.
But I don't think this alone makes a very good indicator for market domination.

BTW, GP, using stock exchange codes or whatever they are instead of company names is annoying - what is this, "News for MBAs, Stuff that Pays"?

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (5, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118593)

but GOOG is flavor-of-the month

Yeah, they're so flavour of the month, I've only been using them since before the turn of the century.</sarcasm>

Note to all the clueless idiots out there: Google got popular quick because they had a search page that would load in under a minute back when most of us were still on dial-up. Having search rankings that worked as well as anybody else's was just icing on the cake. The hardcore techies might have gone nuts over their algorithms, but the rest of us were just happy to get our search results quickly and not wait for ages for a bunch of cruft and advertising to load first.

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24119205)

Mod parent +10 Correct.

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (4, Informative)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119845)

The search results, even in the early days when the main Google page was still marked as beta (I remember using the beta version in 2000 when I was still at the uni), were (and still are although somewhat less glaringly now) superior to any of the established commercial operators (like Yahoo) at that time. It was clear even then that Google had an emerging franchise in an industry that was already packed with me too and also ran search companies (anyone remember HotBot, Lycos, AltaVista, etc...).

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (4, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119931)

Note to all the clueless idiots out there: Google got popular quick because they had a search page that would load in under a minute back when most of us were still on dial-up. Having search rankings that worked as well as anybody else's was just icing on the cake. The hardcore techies might have gone nuts over their algorithms, but the rest of us were just happy to get our search results quickly and not wait for ages for a bunch of cruft and advertising to load first.

I'd add another thing to that. This is my experience, your mileage may have varied etc etc.

Way back before then - circa 1997 - AltaVista was king of search. However, around 1999 or so the results from AltaVista started to go down the tubes - most of the hits were either spam or totally irrelevant.

Out of practically nowhere comes Google - with results which were actually useful and little or no spam. Doesn't take a superbrain to decide to stick to using Google. But the Internet is a fickle place, and it's a lot easier to visit an alternate website than it is to take your bricks & mortar business elsewhere. (For one thing, "there's only one shop in this town that sells N" is not a valid argument). The mighty can fall, and I don't doubt it will happen again.

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118935)

GOOG is striving to become that, but GOOG is flavor-of-the month because GOOG is the glamorous company that avoided the dot-com bust because they started later.

How long does a company have to remain flavor-of-the-month before they get upgraded to preferred-flavor?

And how many Dot Com Failures had Google's billions of dollars *cash* in the bank (as opposed to hemorrhaging venture capital) before they imploded?

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (4, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119037)

Google was around before the Dot-com bust, and in the late 1990s was already showing itself to be a fierce competitor to Yahoo. Your knowledge of search engine history is pathetically incorrect.

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (0, Flamebait)

kriston (7886) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119665)

Oh, is it? See the comment below.
Try again, troll.

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24119097)

Wow. Yahoo definitely does not have stale search offerings or second-rate search technology.

Just because you're not the flavor-of-the-month search engine doesn't mean your technology is stale or second rate.

The only thing I can agree with is the unmotivated workforce--but they are in no way a mediocre bunch.

YHOO survived the dot-com bust because they are a well-diversified and complete web service company.
GOOG is striving to become that, but GOOG is flavor-of-the month because GOOG is the glamorous company that avoided the dot-com bust because they started later.

Come on, try to be objective when comparing YHOO and GOOG.

Good press does not necessarily mean better company.

Bad press does not necessarily mean worse company.

It's a shame so many of you feel this way without any sort of objective research.

.

This sounds like the big Yahoo PR push over the past year when they were subjectively touting their mail as superior to Google. Nothing to see here, move along. All Yahoo has is their portal which moms seem to use. They're like the new AOL. Google search is king. Anyone who says differently is trying to sell something.

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (1)

IchNiSan (526249) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119343)

Eh? Dotcom bust started March ish 2000. Google was in business before that.

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (1)

IchNiSan (526249) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119377)

OK, so their IPO came later.

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119705)

It's a shame so many of you feel this way without any sort of objective research.

Research is *never* objective. Objectivity is the biggest myth of the current scientific paradigm.

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (3, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118021)

I think this is a bit unfair.
I actually like Yahoo.
I use the my.yahoo home page. I think it is better than the Google version.
I actually like the directory. Sometimes I like to browse a subject and not do just a search for it. It is real handy when looking for things like towns in a state.
I think Yahoo has it's strengths as does Google.
I will admit that I wouldn't use my.yahoo if I didn't have firefox.

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (1)

fuzznutz (789413) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119475)

I USED to like Yahoo. I used Yahoo almost exclusively until they decided they liked pop-ups and pop-unders. I was so annoyed, I just abandoned my "My Yahoo" home page and left for Google and never came back.

Google gets it. I don't mind advertising. I actually use Google's ads and buy stuff. I use Firefox now, so pop-ups aren't much of a problem, but Yahoo has nothing to lure me back and Google has done nothing to alienate me.

Re:Perfect Strangers ? (3, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119795)

I do tend to agree that Yahoo ads are just annoying.
Slashdot's ads are also annoying to me.
I have some rules.
1. NO POPs I don't care if they are up down over or under.
2. NO ANIMATION. Motion drives me nuts.
3. Don't put them in the middle of the text. Off to the side is fine.
I don't think that Yahoo's are any worse than Slashdot's.

Long Article, Lots of Speculation (5, Interesting)

Alaren (682568) | more than 6 years ago | (#24117811)

Alright, the article is worth reading and forwards an an interesting and compelling theory about Microsoft's "real" reason for wanting Yahoo. (Can there only be one reason? Shouldn't there be lots?) But here's where it crossed the line into gross speculation.

Google does have a perpetual royalty-free license, but $30 million was not all Google paid for the license. Evidently, Google is hiding some material terms of its patent settlement with Yahoo from the general public and its investors. Google had a legal obligation to disclose anything material that was likely to influence its future business operations, but Google's management subverted that obligation.

That's couched in boring language, but it's actually a very, very serious allegation against Google and, given Google's usual careful approach, extremely unlikely.

This article does little to convince me of Google wrongdoing, but a lot to remind us why business model patents make no sense and ought to be done away with. I can see the 361 patent playing into Microsoft's calculations, but if it's as important as this article suggests, Microsoft would be pointing that out to everyone who cared to listen... and paying Yahoo's asking price.

So, I'd mod the article interesting and informative, but not especially insightful.

Re:Long Article, Lots of Speculation (3, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118311)

Actually, it makes perfect sense.

Microsoft instead of proposing a more competitive deal has been busy trying to subvert the Yahoo Google deal by raising antitrust concerns, and even seems to have succeeded at getting the US Department of Justice to [investigate the deal].

I've been wondering why the Microsoft shills on this site have been the ones protesting the Yahoo/Google deal the most. Now it makes sense.

Re:Long Article, Lots of Speculation (4, Interesting)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118811)

It only makes sense because Microsoft is floating upon an ocean of patent bubbles. The '361 patent is unenforceable in the real world. But it lets Microsoft get in on the Google paid search game, without possibly setting off a patent Armageddon war meltdown.

Microsoft's main revenue source (very expensive questionable quality software) is under serious threat. Google main revenue source is not under serious competitive threat. Google would get that '361 patent invalidated in a heart beat if it was a serious threat to their business. Microsoft, however, will not undertake the same tactic to get in on the paid search game, because business method patents are practically synonymous with software function patents.

Yahoo has nothing. It's no surprise corporate raiders would not take the bait. Any hidden asset value play of the '361 patent is an SCO disaster in waiting. But Yahoo is still in the game, has a chance down the line to be competitive against both Microsoft and Google.

Such navigation is what Bill Gates considered "good business skills". But MSFT can't afford to pay for the '361 patent chip, and Yahoo can't afford to sell it. And the '361 patent chip is completely worthless in the real world, but billions in stock valuations are being swung around because of it. Maybe Microsoft is just counting on the outcome that Google wouldn't press the patent nuclear war button also (as Microsoft would at least attempt to retaliate against all of Google's on-line services).

In the meantime, innovation and competition is stagnated, and consumers are worse off paying for lower quality products with higher prices -- ACROSS THE BOARD.

Re:Long Article, Lots of Speculation (3, Interesting)

xbytor (215790) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118501)

Once you remove the 'hidden material terms' part of the argument, the rest of it mostly falls apart. And I would be very surprised if Google had left themselves potentially open to a charge of fraud of this magnitude.

Up to that point, it was an interesting read.

Bingo - parent is spot-on. (4, Interesting)

sampson7 (536545) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119235)

I'm an attorney tangentially involved in preparing SEC documents for a major corporation. Based on my experience with how seriously companies take their disclosure obligations, I would be shocked if Google were actively engaged in hiding a "material" settlement with Yahoo.

For what it's worth, materiality is a term of art -- and certainly any royalty paid by Google to Yahoo to settle a patent claim would almost certainly be material, likely and quantifiable -- which would likely trigger Google's obligation to disclose the potential liability in its 10-K and 10-Q.

Is it possible that Google is playing fast and loose with its securities obligations, or that it has come up with some novel legal theory about why it wouldn't be required to report such a deal? Well, sure. People and companies do stupid things all the time. But is it likely....?

Wow.... that's a really serious allegation to lodge without any "smoking gun". Interesting article, but I have to think there's an element of conspiracy theorism in it that does not sound credible to me.

"Utilizing"? (0, Flamebait)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#24117847)

I can't stand the use (utilization) of "utilize" instead of the simpler, more correct "use".

Re:"Utilizing"? (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118153)

You 'use' a hammer, you 'utilize' software. It is said that way because it sounds cooler.

Anyway, you think that's bad? How do you feel about scientists using the term 'in silico' when they mean 'run on a computer'.

It fucks me right off.

Re:"Utilizing"? (5, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118303)

I concur with the most recent ancestor poster. I object to repeatedly tautologically redundant grandiloquence. I eschew such verbiage diligently. This very response shows you all that I am the very epitome of plain talking simple folk, scratch scratch, the very epitome of rustic linguistics.

The phrase "in silico" gets you off? (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118623)

Damn. If you blow your wad that easily, you're gonna needs some sort of numbing cream.

Re:The phrase "in silico" gets you off? (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118981)

"Fucks me right off" is a UK colloquialism for "makes me very angry" or "annoys me greatly". Cf "it fucked me off" for "it made me angry" or "annoyed me".

(Yes, I got the joke)

Re:"Utilizing"? (1)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118819)

"In silico" actually has fewer letters and syllables than "run on a computer," so it's more efficient!

Re:"Utilizing"? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24118205)

Or, as they presumably spell it in the US, "uze".

Re:"Utilizing"? (2, Funny)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119105)

Yooz furrnerz jes caint git it, kinya?
:)

Re:"Utilizing"? (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118393)

They are different; utilization has the added implication that the use was somehow beneficial.

Re:"Utilizing"? (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118835)

At least utilize means something slightly different from use. Burglarize instead of burgle, on the other hand, is retarded.

In other words (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 6 years ago | (#24117855)

Once again a business method patent has stymied the development of a market. A bad idea that was obvious to everyone but lawyers and the courts for its ability to damage competition.

Re:In other words (2, Insightful)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119621)

Things are always obvious in hindsight.

So many words (1)

stevens (84346) | more than 6 years ago | (#24117889)

The article writer couldn't make up his mind if he was penning (1) an opinion piece, (2) a history of the deal, or (3) just trying to beat 19th century french novelists on wordiness.

I skimmed it, but all I got is: they wanted to put Yahoo into play. Is that it? Anyone have the abstract?

Re:So many words (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#24117965)

Microsoft didn't mean to kill Amalia, but its hand was forced when she came back early from the market.

Re:So many words (1)

howdoesth (1132949) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119265)

It's really simple:
  • Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo!
  • It doesn't make a lot of sense for Microsoft to buy Yahoo!
  • Therefore, Google is responsible for unspeakable fraud.

what unpecedented evile wants from you (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24117981)

just your mind, body & spirit will do just fine thank you. there are alternatives. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

the answer to Why Microsoft Is Chasing Yahoo (5, Interesting)

rs232 (849320) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118057)

"In July 2001, the US patent office granted Overture US patent number 6,269,361. Also known as the '361 patent, it covered the basic paid-search bid-for-placement advertising model"

"In July 2003 Yahoo acquired Overture in a mostly stock deal valued at $1.63 billion"

"The peculiar thing about Microsoft Yahoo negotiations is Microsoft's insistence on owning/co-owning Yahoo's paid-search assets "

"Microsoft believes that by being clever about the deal terms Microsoft can practically get Yahoo's big fish patent licensee to fully reimburse Microsoft for whatever Microsoft pays for Yahoo's paid search assets"

"So, who is Yahoo's big fish patent licensee [techuser.net] .. By simple elimination it has to be Google "

--

So basically Microsoft gets Google to finance the Yahoo takeover and then gets Google to pay MS revenue out of its (GOOG) own paid search business.. PURR of EVIL ... :)

Re:the answer to Why Microsoft Is Chasing Yahoo (1)

palindromic (451110) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118645)

That... damn, that IS evil heh. But I don't really buy that thats how the mechanics of the deal will really work. I think Microsoft will get some benefit from the patent, but the patent in question if heads come to butt heads will end up being overturned or modified somehow. Maybe I'm wrong but it seems a ridiculous loop-hole for MS to be able to exploit Google with.

I think MS really wants Yahoo for the same reasons I like Yahoo, it has a huge user base and a slick content delivery system. I tend to use it for its ease of use and lack of bloatware in things that should be really simple. I don't want to install some giant 100 megabyte pile of crap to play chess (read: MSN), I want to click on a java applet and play chess with someone. That philosophy is what has made Yahoo the best and most user friendly portal from day one, and why it has retained a staggeringly huge and loyal user base.

user friendly portal .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119399)

"I like Yahoo, it has a huge user base and a slick content delivery system .. most user friendly portal"

MS doesn't want a huge piece of paid-search but only wants Yahoo for it's online portal? I don't think so. Didn't AOL (who?) try and fail that walled garden approach. Play Chess here [flyordie.com] without having to download bloatware.

same reason I chased a little furry guy (1)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118359)

it seemed like the right thing to do at the time and I thought I was in love

Holy run-on article (3, Insightful)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118415)

We have never needed a good summary as much as this time!

Re:Holy run-on article (1)

paazin (719486) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119287)

It's horrifically long but damned interesting, a tale filled with drama, heroics, deceit, and romance!
The author suggests that Google has been lying to investors and the public, among other things:

Google had a legal obligation to disclose anything material that was likely to influence its future business operations, but Google's management subverted that obligation.

Mod Article Flamebait (-1, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118435)

Yahoo has always had stale search offerings, second rate search technology, and a mediocre unmotivated workforce.

This piece is a thinly disguised attack on Yahoo!.

It is also a meandering rant, and the webpage has stupid formatting. If I wanted to read everything at the width of a newspaper article, I'd read the newspaper.

File under "do not post stories from here again"

Re:Mod Article Flamebait (-1, Offtopic)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119663)

Nice, I have been nailed by the bad moderation police: Here's a hint, kids: trolling is when you say some shit you don't believe to get a desired response. I'm just saying some shit I do believe, because I like to blather.

Fascinating analysis (1)

Vliam (579739) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118701)

You are transparent... I see many things... I see plans within plans.

MS-YHOO would never work. (5, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118757)

While I am aware that implementation doesn't have any real bearing on the task at hand, it does affect the culture. Yahoo makes use of open source technologies (as does Google.) Microsoft only uses Microsoft technologies. When they bought Hotmail (and subsequently turned it into a dump) they replaced the BSD boxes with Windows at a ratio of 1 to 5, (5x many windows boxen) in order to support the load.

Now Microsoft wants to buy search. Given that "search" is basically a text box that returns URLs, and Microsoft already has that capability, one has to look at what is the difference between MS and Yahoo? Why is Yahoo more valuable than Microsoft in paid search? Really, I don't know. But I can guess. Yahoo doesn't care if you're using Microsoft technologies. This has two sides - 1) you get equal support in FF and IE, 2) developers don't have to use Microsoft technologies. The "not invented here" does not apply. It's about getting a job done.

Buying Yahoo won't fix the problem if Yahoo is forced to change to the MS way. Obviously it's not worked for them.

I think MS is just buying time if they think they can do what they've always done. Clearly, the decision to buy yahoo search is the brain child of a business man with no appreciation of why things the way they are. If MS is going to buy Yahoo, then they have to admit defeat and not see it as acquiring static property to be added to a portfolio. They have to buy Yahoo then learn why they failed, or better learn why they failed first.

MS is rife with "not invented here" egoism: IE (Netscape), .Net (Java), SilverLight(Flash), Windows (BSD/Linux), and now Search. I can understand why a company should drink their own cool-aid, but when people start dropping, its time to change the formula.

Re:MS-YHOO would never work. (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119247)

Now Microsoft wants to buy search. Given that "search" is basically a text box that returns URLs, and Microsoft already has that capability, one has to look at what is the difference between MS and Yahoo? Why is Yahoo more valuable than Microsoft in paid search? Really, I don't know. But I can guess. Yahoo doesn't care if you're using Microsoft technologies. This has two sides - 1) you get equal support in FF and IE, 2) developers don't have to use Microsoft technologies. The "not invented here" does not apply. It's about getting a job done.

It's called a "brand name". Microsoft, since its first foray on to the Internet with MSN in 1995-96 has never been able to produce a popular online presence. Guys like Lycos, Altavista and Yahoo were already filling the search market, and Microsoft was unable to puncture their dominance. Google, of course, pretty much kicked the shit out of Yahoo, which now holds a very distant second place, and yet, Microsoft still isn't on the map. I think Microsoft (correctly) has come to the conclusion that it matters not at all what they do, people don't care about msn.com or live.com. They go into Tools-->Options when they get their brand new Windows computer and change it to google.com. Even having a search box that defaults to Microsoft's search has failed, as basically threats that the EU is going to go medieval on their ass have pretty much forced them to open it up more easily to competitors (read: Google).

With more and more apps set to be delivered via the Web, this is about getting a platform that they have a hope in hell of someone actually using. I still think it will fail. Yahoo is, as I said, a very distant second place. Google is indeed the new Microsoft, and as with Microsoft's competitors in the past, Microsoft is finding itself being very effectively locked out of a very important market.

I'm not at all comfortable with yet-another-computer-monopoly, and I don't buy at all into Google's "do no evil" mantra, since, so far, they've done plenty. But there's a great deal of irony. It couldn't have happened to a nicer company.

Re:MS-YHOO would never work. (1)

Lord Grey (463613) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119575)

Microsoft already bought search, with the acquisition of FAST.

This Yahoo thing is for web presence, not search.

Is it or isn't it? (2, Insightful)

ktappe (747125) | more than 6 years ago | (#24118837)

Most people think that it all started with Microsoft's acquisition bid for Yahoo, but this is not so. It is well-known that Microsoft and Yahoo have been negotiating since at least May of 2006

Contradictory statements. If it's well-known that they've been negotiating since 2006, then (by definition) most people would know that.

Re:Is it or isn't it? (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119323)

No, just really bad writing.

Just a way to jump ahead in the line (1)

boyfaceddog (788041) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119185)

If Google is number one and Yahoo! and MS are contenders for the number two spot, then MS buying Yahoo! is just a way for MS to jump ahead in the standings. MS-Yahoo! might even contend for number one if MS combined the stats. Multi-billion dollar industry there.

Legtimacy (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119211)

MS has been a failure at search. This was not a big deal until search became ad revenue, and ad revenue became the new profit center in the IT world. Like the World Wide Web, MS failed to innovate, but unlike the WWW, MS was not able to use it's monopoly of the desktop to compensate for that basic, persistent, and enduring lack of imagination. MSN remains the laughing stock of search.

Even with billions of dollars in the bank, 90% of the browsing population using IE, which forces people to MSN, MSN still has less than 1/2 the market of Yahoo, and not even twice the market share of AOL. This tends to indicate that MS has no clue how to direct users to content, but that they don't even know how to learn how to do such a thing. Basically, because MS cannot force MS Windows users to search with MSN, beyond what already exists in IE, and MS cannot undercut the prices of the product, as it did with XBox, MS is not succeeding in the search market. Those are it's two primary tools for success, and neither is suitable here.

The only option is go after Yahoo. There are two benefits to this, only one seems to be covered in the link. By far the most important is that the combined Yahoo/MS market share will be 35% This should help market ads. The downside risk is how many people will stop using Yahoo because of MS ownership, and the changes that the clearly incompetent MS staff(remember MSN only has 10%, that is for a reason) make to the service. This gives MS legitimacy in the marketplace.

The second, as implied by the link is that MS may be able to make trouble for google. This will result in what MS does best, funneling money from productive interests to fuel it's unproductive coffers, but will not likely affect Googles market share.

Here is why. Google is still innovating customer service. There are free apps on the web to do all sorts of stuff. They know their core business, bringing eyeballs to ads, and do what it takes to keep those eyeballs happy. Google is free to do whatever it takes. MS is not free to do whatever it takes. For instance, why is MS charging a subscription fee for MS Office. Why aren't they putting a Web version on MSN. Tell me how many people would create an MSN account and use it as their portal if they got to use even a limited version of MS word for free in the deal.

Why indeed. There are only two possible reasons. First, MS does not have the technology to do what Google is already doing. Second, the MS Office franchise, stale as it is, is still too valuable for MS to use to drive what is clear to become the future profit center for any large software concern. Again, MS looks back, everyone else looks forward. This is not bad, MS makes a lot of money on it, but it why MS can and does overpay for new tech(re: facebook), and why Yahoo is a deal that has to be done, even it eventually fails and means the end of Yahoo, and 80% market share for google.

Modern Jackass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24119451)

TFA is a perfect submission for Modern Jackass.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1090 [thisamericanlife.org]

Host Ira Glass describes the thing that we all do at some point: talk expertly about something we don't actually know anything about. It's so common, explains This American Life contributing editor Nancy Updike, that some friends of hers invented an imaginary magazine devoted to such blathering. It's called "Modern Jackass."

I once had a housemate who chased Yahoo! (3, Funny)

raddan (519638) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119539)

He painted his room pink.

Why? (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 6 years ago | (#24119933)

Because Microsoft has an entitlement mentality when it comes to technology. They want it because they want it.
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