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Ballmer: We're Lucky Microsoft Didn't Buy Yahoo

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the if-only-they-had dept.

Microsoft 151

alphadogg writes (quoting Networkworld): "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer feels intensely fortunate that his company's $44 billion bid for Yahoo back in 2008 never materialized. 'Sometimes you're lucky,' he said with a smile at Web 2.0 Summit, responding to a question from conference co-chair John Battelle. Careful not to offend his search market partner, Ballmer put his comment in context, saying that any CEO would feel grateful for not making a major acquisition in the months prior to the global financial collapse that started in the second half of 2008."

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The really winner is Jerry Yang (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761924)

Sure he turned down an offer of $33 a share from MS, only to have the stock plummet to half that value almost immediately afterwards. But he got to tell MS to go to hell, man!

Re:The really winner is Jerry Yang (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762152)

Self-marketing-wise, he's now on par with Grigori Perelman.

Re:The really winner is Jerry Yang (1)

almitchell (1237520) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762634)

I think Jerry and Jim Balsillie go bowling.

Re:The really winner is Jerry Yang (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762244)

Yeah and then was ousted from the company and had his net worth plummet. Yeah he totally stuck it to Microsoft. *rolls eyes*

Re:The really winner is Jerry Yang (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37763170)

Yeah because your net worth is the only measure of your success. *rolls eyes*

A better investment for that $44B: Apple (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761994)

AAPL has tripled since around that time. MSFT should have bought some shares.

Re:A better investment for that $44B: Apple (3, Informative)

TechLA (2482532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762114)

Microsoft already owns Apple stocks. It owns lots of Facebook stock too, and that has grown even more than Apple within the recent years and become one of the most visited sites on the internet.

Re:A better investment for that $44B: Apple (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762258)

I'm sure that as a company MS does own other tech stocks but I think the $150M that MS put into Apple back in the late 90s has been paid back.

Re:A better investment for that $44B: Apple (2)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762840)

They sold those non-voting shares years ago. It was a strategic publicity move, nothing more. Any truly objective business manager would have seen the revenue MS Office for Macintosh brings in and throw anyone who suggested cancelling it out the door.

Re:A better investment for that $44B: Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762270)

How can you know? Facebook hasn't gone public yet.

Re:A better investment for that $44B: Apple (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762366)

Because it's been public knowledge since 2007? YW HTH [msn.com] .

Re:A better investment for that $44B: Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762442)

I was mainly referring to the grown more than Apple part but thanks for the link!

Facebook isn't even public yet (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762384)

Let FB do an IPO, and let's see if they can actually monetize there users before we start putting them in the same paragraph, let alone sentence, with the most valuable company on earth, K sparky?

Re:Facebook isn't even public yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762798)

Let FB do an IPO, and let's see if they can actually monetize there users before we start putting them in the same paragraph, let alone sentence, with the most valuable company on earth, K sparky?

I dont recall reading anything about Exxon Mobile in the GP...

Re:A better investment for that $44B: Apple (2)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762912)

Microsoft already owns Apple stocks.

http://justinhartman.com/2007/11/23/microsofts-equity-in-apple/ [justinhartman.com]

"Currently, Microsoft owns about 0.0046% of Apple through a Private Capital Management fund and Apple owns about 0.39% of itself the same way so whether Microsoft ever held any power in the company is questionable at best."

Re:A better investment for that $44B: Apple (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764126)

Microsoft already owns Apple stocks. It owns lots of Facebook stock too, and that has grown even more than Apple within the recent years and become one of the most visited sites on the internet.

Did I miss the FaceBook IPO?

Re:A better investment for that $44B: Apple (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764278)

Microsoft sold their shares of Apple in 04 as I recall. The EU was looking at antitrust allegations and it did not look good to hold a big share in the same company that you are claiming is your major competitor.

Re:A better investment for that $44B: Apple (2)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764678)

Microsoft bought shares in Apple at the time that Apple wasn't doing so well. It looked good that Microsoft had a competitor at the time they had a monopoly over office E-mail systems and web browsing.

This sounds like a good Microsoft strategy. (5, Funny)

goffster (1104287) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762034)

Whenever they feel the need to embark on "yet another ill conceived venture" they could
simply sit on their hands and reap the benefits of not having done it.

Re:This sounds like a good Microsoft strategy. (1)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762626)

While I generally agree with you, if they did that ALL the time, we wouldn't have stuff from them like the Xbox (and even though I am not a console gamer, I understand the value and contribution to gaming that Microsoft has given by providing an alternative to Sony's once-monopoly on the high-end console market). A lot of people were skeptical and predicted the XBOX would fail when they first announced it, and could have easily turned into a money-pit.

Re:This sounds like a good Microsoft strategy. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37763074)

While I generally agree with you, if they did that ALL the time, we wouldn't have stuff from them like the Xbox (and even though I am not a console gamer, I understand the value and contribution to gaming that Microsoft has given by providing an alternative to Sony's once-monopoly on the high-end console market). A lot of people were skeptical and predicted the XBOX would fail when they first announced it, and could have easily turned into a money-pit.

The XBox still has no place in Microsoft's core business. They somehow did, and still do, believe they were going to use it as a gateway to tie homes into the Microsoft Universe, in some way which would greatly benefit Microsoft. Ultimately they've done what they usually do, buy a lot of other properties which have kept it alive, but I can't stress this point enough Gamers have no loyalty to a platform The next big thing comes along and their old favourite is in the boot sale or being flogged on eBay.

If Microsoft would put the kind of effort into actually being innovative and trying to lead new markets they might do what Apple have done, instead they are the biggest technology follower.

Re:This sounds like a good Microsoft strategy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37764194)

Gamers are loyal to the Nintendo platform, but that's because Nintendo has a ludicrous amount of good first-party games.

Re:This sounds like a good Microsoft strategy. (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764322)

Dos/Windows always had more games than competing platforms. It makes sense to create an environment where you can develop for both for console and PC (DirectX, XNA). Also, people tend to use the same software both at home and their workplace (i.e. the managers who call the shots will choose, the bottomfeeders).

Re:This sounds like a good Microsoft strategy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37763088)

It is a money-pit -- losses everywhere. Like everything but office and windows, the losses are absorbed the monopolistic profits generated by office and windows.

Re:This sounds like a good Microsoft strategy. (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37763370)

Not "sit on their hands" - bumble incompetently and conspicuously. You can't dodge a bullet that is never fired.

now they'll buy it for 43 billions (1)

cod3r_ (2031620) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762066)

BWAHAHHAAH THE PLAN WORKED!!!

Re:now they'll buy it for 43 billions (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762274)

That's absurd. This is Microsoft, they'll bid 45 billion.

Re:now they'll buy it for 43 billions (2)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762382)

Nah, Microsoft's M.O. would be to take what they wanted, and let the court decide how much they have to pay.

Re:now they'll buy it for 43 billions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37763630)

...I want my billions.

We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762116)

It struck me the other day. I was searching for something on X, and the first five hits were either "Here is a page on X, at the moment it's empty, please submit your user-generated content to us here" or so-called "low-quality content", linkfarm sites that try to stay on the very borderline of legitimacy by having poorly spelled out content with meaningless "comments" to the "articles". It actually happens surprisingly often.

Not to mention when buying a piece of software, there is a 'discount code' field and you try to search and end up in a mindless wasteland of Kafkaesque hell.

Then I wished for some kind of ".nocrap.com" site that only allowed pre-checked websites that were guaranteed not to contain crap. And no, "one mans' crap is not another man's gold" - many sites are by any reasonable standard pure crap.

Then I realised what I wished for was something like Yahoo.

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (1)

TechLA (2482532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762226)

What comes to searching, I've noticed Facebook can do a good job with this, for certain areas anyway. While traveling I've noticed that many restaurants, guesthouses and even hotels tend to have a Facebook page even while they don't have a website and can't find them from Google. That's also probably why Google is scared of Facebook - even if we techies generally don't search there, lots of people do. It makes creation your page easy, and the interface is look is still unified so it's not like MySpace. On top of that it's also easy way to discover things when you don't know about them, especially via friends or the people they know. It's especially handy when backpacking or moving to new city. You find interesting stuff you wouldn't have known to look for.

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762772)

FB doesn't scale in this regard. It is in no way a search alternative.

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37763900)

I sometimes use the Open Directory Project. (http://www.dmoz.org/)

It's not perfect, but at least worth mention.

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762336)

There was a startup a few years ago called Mahalo that tried to do something like this - have only hand-picked results pages. I actually wrote a couple for them back in the summer of 2007.

Sadly, it was run by people who got bigheaded with the advent of whatever "Web 2.0" was supposed to be. It is now unrecognizable and useless, the original goal of sensible search results seemingly long forgotten.

Glad I jumped ship when I did, even though it was more out of college-age laziness than anything else.

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762884)

Sadly, it was run by people who got bigheaded with the advent of whatever "Web 2.0" was supposed to be. It is now unrecognizable and useless, the original goal of sensible search results seemingly long forgotten.

That killed Yahoo too. For a good time (not), check out Yahoo Finance's stock message boards. Much like Slashdot's 2.0 revamps, Yahoo did its message boards in 2006 [bloggingstocks.com] and it's been all downhill from there.

Today, the Y! finance message boards for stocks of very widely-held companies (ORCL [yahoo.com] ) consist of nothing more than (R)tards and (D)tards flaming each other. Midsize companies () are full of people flaming the company. And the ones for tiny companies (wow, ELNK [yahoo.com] is still in business?) consist only of spam from obvious spambots that take a news headline, link it to the spam/malware site, and have a bunch of robots replying to it.

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762934)

(Because I suck at Preview.)

Sadly, it was run by people who got bigheaded with the advent of whatever "Web 2.0" was supposed to be. It is now unrecognizable and useless, the original goal of sensible search results seemingly long forgotten.

That killed Yahoo too. For a good time (not), check out Yahoo Finance's stock message boards. Much like Slashdot's 2.0 revamps, Yahoo did its message boards in 2006 [bloggingstocks.com] and it's been all downhill from there.

Today, the Y! finance message boards for stocks of very widely-held companies (ORCL [yahoo.com] ) consist of nothing more than (R)tards and (D)tards flaming each other. Midsize companies (ADBE [yahoo.com] ) are full of people flaming the company (and spam from spambots). And the ones for tiny companies (wow, ELNK [yahoo.com] is still in business?) consist only of spam from obvious spambots that take a news headline, link it to the spam/malware site, and have a bunch of robots replying to it.

And Yahoo's nonexistent abuse department does nothing about the spam, even though the spam follows the same format, and uses the same limited set of spam domains.

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (1)

BlueScreenO'Life (1813666) | more than 2 years ago | (#37763338)

It's called Wikipedia.

The best thing about it is not the article contents, but the references and external links. I use it as a crowdsourced web search site.

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37763880)

The ideal I think would be applying an intelligent search engine like Google to a hand-screen set of websites. Yahoo's problem was that people don't just want "Video gaming site", they want to find "Review of game released yesterday" and to reach it with a single click. Maybe you still won't find anything relevant but at least the top hits won't make you feel you are having your time scammed away from you.

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (4, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762540)

I have put together a list of websites guaranteed to contain no crap. Here it is:

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37763708)

I don't know ... I *thoroughly* checked the content that used to live at http://www.goatse.cx. I'm reasonably confident that it was one example of a website that contained no crap.

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37763966)

This deserves an insightful mod...I am pretty sure goatse contains no crap.

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37763756)

I have put together a list of websites guaranteed to contain no crap. Here it is:

You forgot http://about:blank or http://localhost

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (1)

wed128 (722152) | more than 2 years ago | (#37763964)

no, there's usually some crap on there.

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762714)

Then I wished for some kind of ".nocrap.com" site that only allowed pre-checked websites that were guaranteed not to contain crap

Just do a "ask /." question like everyone else..

"Dear slashdot I'm looking for a ..."

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37763590)

Then I wished for some kind of ".nocrap.com" site that only allowed pre-checked websites that were guaranteed not to contain crap

Just do a "ask /." question like everyone else..

"Dear slashdot I'm looking for a ..."

Dear Slashdot, neighbor has released wild animals - lions and tigers and bears, oh my - how do I protect myself?

Yeah, I'll get a reply just as the vultures have moved in to pick my bones clean. Not quite timely enough, I'm afraid, though /. does have its uses.

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (2)

PoopCat (2218334) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764728)

Dear Slashdot, neighbor has released wild animals - lions and tigers and bears, oh my - how do I protect myself?

Well if you're in Ohio, just call out the cops with their assault rifles. Because apparently tranquilizers are too humane^W^Wnot as much fun.

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762958)

I get this problem all the time with google as well. It's getting to the point where I just have to skip ahead to page 3 or 4 of the results just to see something bordering on legitimate.

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37763366)

Then I realised what I wished for was something like Yahoo.

I think what you want might be this: http://blekko.com/ [blekko.com]

Re:We need a new Yahoo, or do we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37764414)

http://www.dmoz.org/

I'm kind of shocked. (2)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762136)

The summary had the Ballmer quote AND it had the context for the quote. Not bad.

Re:I'm kind of shocked. (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762248)

That's not context. That's a CEO back-pedalling because he just said something stupid.

Apparently Michael Dell put his famous "sell off Apple and give the money back to the shareholders" quote "in context" recently as well. He says he's the CEO of Dell and that's all so when someone asked him about Apple he said what he did because he's not a CEO for hire and only wants to focus on Dell and...

Yeah right.

Re:I'm kind of shocked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762376)

Sounds like a big chunk of context to me. You just want to put it in those terms because you have a low opinion of MS as a whole. A spade is not a spade, it's a crudely constructed metal and wood device that could hardly last 100 years.

Re:I'm kind of shocked. (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762904)

Not only "said". Many felt the entire action of acquiring Yahoo wasn't a good idea and if Ballmer got his way MS would have been poorer and worse off. I think the deal would have been 50:50 cash and stock so MS would have put in $22B.

Re:I'm kind of shocked. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37763642)

Not only "said". Many felt the entire action of acquiring Yahoo wasn't a good idea and if Ballmer got his way MS would have been poorer and worse off. I think the deal would have been 50:50 cash and stock so MS would have put in $22B.

They could have still made something of it. Yahoo has been a mess for years and simply bringing some sense of order to the site wouldn't hurt.

Re:I'm kind of shocked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37764028)

Right!! And Microsoft which loses $3 billion a year in their online business are just the ones to do it!

Also lucky since Yahoo's decline has continued (3, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762174)

He's also lucky in that it is even more apparent now in 2011 than it was in 2008 that Yahoo is flailing and not doing well at all. On the other hand, maybe if Microsoft had purchased it the new overarching management would have done a better job. Also, part of the failure of Yahoo has been Bing taking some of their former market share. And since Yahoo Search is essentially going to be Bing soon http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8174763.stm [bbc.co.uk] that's essentially done with. Yahoo has very little left that it is used that is that popular. When I was younger a lot of people used Yahoo! Games for things like chess, and I understand that that still has a fair bit of use. But that was actually an acquisition from outside http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahoo!_Games [wikipedia.org] of another website. They've done very little to further develop or improve that since then. Overall, they simply haven't been very proactive with improving their existing services, and of those they have modified it has often been not for the better. In some sense part of the problem is that much of what they have is while not a full walled-garden, it is a garden that isn't easy to move in and out of. And that just doesn't work very well. (Although it does seem like some of the mobile devices are definitely moving back in that direction. Maybe if Yahoo made a more functioning version of their stuff in the form of apps?)

Re:Also lucky since Yahoo's decline has continued (2)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762880)

Maybe if Yahoo made a more functioning version of their stuff in the form of apps?

That would be "brick and mortar". I worked for yahoo broadcast when radio stations were struggling and broadcast.com had just been purchased. At a meeting on how to continue broadcasting all of the original broadcast.com shows I suggested we buy up clear channel to avoid having to pay the impending royalty fee bubble. The amount was slightly more but not significant. They literally told me they did not want to invest in anything brick and mortar. Now Rupert Murdock is doing well while yahoo is about to crank up layoff.yahoo.com Who ever buys Yahoo! is going to get some really talented people. Assuming they don't bring on anyone from management.

Yahoo? (4, Interesting)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762238)

I honestly don't get why anybody would still use Yahoo. The only thing I know people still use it for is fantasy baseball/football/etc. Other than that, there really isn't a reason to stay with them. I have 1 friend who refuses to leave yahoo mail, when infinitely better web based mail solutions exist. Also, Bing and Google have the search market on lockdown. Why would you not use one of those? Any listing from another lesser search engine is going to just get you less complete and/or reliable results.

Say what you will, but I think Yahoo should just slip into the history books along with AOL and Netscape. Even in 2008, I laughed when I saw that Microsoft was going to pay $44Billion for a slowly dying search engine with mediocre webmail. Now since they didn't buy them, they get to laugh all the way to the bank. $44Billion spent on Yahoo would have most likely spelled trouble for even Microsoft, unless they could have somehow turned Yahoo into a money maker (which judging by Steve Ballmer's comments, they wouldn't have).

Just Goes To Show (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762486)

That every web property will sooner or later have the same fate, including Google.

I use a certain metasearch engine that I get excellent results from, so I have no use to access Google directly.

Google is starting to get negative attention from world governments as well as privacy advocates. They are too big now and can never go back to the lean, mean Google of old. Just goes to show that following that old Unix tenet of doing one thing well is sound advice. People get too greedy and try to diversify for the sake of a little extra money. Stay private and you run the show. Go public and the shareholders control you, your vision, and about everything else... all in the name of money.

Re:Yahoo? (2)

satuon (1822492) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762712)

People still use Yahoo mostly by inertia. Once the idea of a portal was to try and get as many people as possible to make it their home page, and Yahoo was successful in that way. A lot of people had made it their home page at the time and now they're used to it. And if you're just a casual user, going to Google wouldn't give you any benefits since you're not using the Internet much anyway. So why bother change?

Yahoo will never attract any new users, but its going to be a slow 40-year demographic process until their userbase dwindles to nothing.

Re:Yahoo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762724)

"I honestly don't get why anybody would still use Yahoo."

it's quicker to type than google...

Re:Yahoo? (4, Informative)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762808)

Yahoo mail isn't any worse than any of the alternative email programs. I know lots of people that still use Yahoo for mail.

None of them use it as a start page/portal/search engine, though. I'm not sure of any functionality it has other than mail that is particularly valuable... it has some ok financial reporting, I think.

I miss having a good tiered and human-reviewed directory of web sites, though, like Yahoo was when it started.

Re:Yahoo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762930)

You can have it: http://www.dmoz.org/

Re:Yahoo? (3, Informative)

AmazinglySmooth (1668735) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762888)

I use Yahoo as an RSS reader. It works just fine for that. For search I use Google. It works just fine for that. For email I use Gmail. It works just fine for that. I use hotmail as a spam catcher. It works just fine for that. I use Facebook for wasting time. It works just fine for that. Why change when stuff works fine? What's better? Being cool and using the latest tools or being productive using what works for you?

Re:Yahoo? (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37763010)

I Still use yahoo groups because that's where the vintage trailer mailing list that I'm on is hosted and I'm restoring a 1962 Streamline. But as soon as I'm done, my last use of Yahoo will be over... until the next time

Re:Yahoo? (2)

neurovish (315867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37763084)

yahoo auctions is the defacto auction site in Japan. Flickr is still at the top for photography (real photography, not "look at my funny cat" type shots). Finance.yahoo.com is also one of the better financial aggregator type sites out there.

Re:Yahoo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37763126)

Yahoo has always been a pretty good news portal, especially for headline news and finance.

Re:Yahoo? (3, Informative)

Kyusaku Natsume (1098) | more than 2 years ago | (#37763534)

I use it for mail, it is very convenient since it is like a home address, my yahoo mail address has been the same since 1996, maybe earlier. By using it with the mail app in OS X and iOS devices it isn't slower than Google's or Microsoft's offers. Also, in Japan Yahoo auctions is still the most popular site, they beat eBay. Still, asking $44 billlion for that was a stretch. Maybe a third of that was in the realm of reasonable.

In the previous tread someone posted about the lousy management of Yahoo, an it is true since it was Yahoo who funded Google but they were stupid enough to not try to keep a substantial share of that company. Google could have been Yahoo's equivalent of the Bell Labs and their cash cow.

Re:Yahoo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37763992)

I use its launch portal because there isnt really anything better/worse out there.

I have tried the others and they dont do usually some small thing yahoo does. Or I can not get a particular rss feed. Or stock or whatever....

Could it be better sure. Should it just 'go away' because you say so?... Get over yourself...

MS has other issues. It starts with balmer. They havent really grown. They had a huge hemorrhage of talent that went to google. It didnt really make sense then and doesnt now. Balmer was just trying to grow the business in some way. With companies as big as MS sometimes the only way is to buy something big. They had a serious misstep with vista and to some extent with office 10 and that ribbon thing. MS could be so much better than it is. But that would mean removing the top 10% of managers in that company probably.

Re:Yahoo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37764066)

finance.yahoo.com is still the best site that I've found for that kind of info.

Re:Yahoo? (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764438)

Mail and Finance. They tried to ruin Finance starting with interactive charts. Fortunately the "it's not broken, let's fix it" group in charge of that must have been laid off. The insanity stopped there.

Also, since they acquired Flickr, that's Yahoo too. They also used to have a subscription music service that I actually liked; but between technical glitches and what appeared to be licensing problems, it failed.

I've bought services from Yahoo; but I've never bought services from Google. It looks like the advertiser driven model is winning, which is a shame. I don't mind paying for something when it's done right.

Re:Yahoo? (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764528)

I have to admit I have a yahoo email address, used for various mailing lists I don't want on my "real" email. I have a hotmail address but rarely use (keep it for in case someone from the distant past wants to contact me) after MS screwed up hotmail. I don't want a gmail address because there is something creepy with those guys archiving every email (I don't know if yahoo does the same). Yes, people have suggested I do this and that with various options but those suggestions are from computer gurus who spend 20 hours a day developing software.

Re:Yahoo? (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764652)

I know people who use YIM (not its crappy client), e-mails, mailing lists/forums, Flickr, etc.

Re:Yahoo? (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764828)

There doesn't seem to be a good alternative to Yahoo groups, aside from building your own forum.

Re:Yahoo? (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764918)

Their mail is perfectly decent. Their groups are good, at least for some subjects. Until recently they had the best TV listings on the web for my country. Their personalized homepage is really neat - lets you put your email, rss feeds, tv listings, weather report all in one place - and that's where the one stop shop aspect of yahoo really helps - their news isn't the best, but since I can drag yahoo news into that same custom homepage that's a much nicer overall experience than anywhere else. Yahoo pipes seems really cool, I keep wishing I had more time to play around with them. Heck, yahoo games are pretty good if that's your thing - I still have friends playing on yahoo pool. Yahoo isn't the best at everything it does, but it seems like the only place left that tries to be a proper portal, integrating content from everywhere, and there's a niche for that.

the global collapse didnt start till 2008? (0)

ticktickboom (1054594) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762390)

ands here i thought it was going on for more than 10 years now...silly me

Launch (3, Interesting)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762464)

The best thing about Yahoo was Launch.

Yahoo could have been on a gold-mine if they marketed launch better- it was an excellent radio system and could have been much bigger than Pandora is now.

Launch's sorting-routines were much better- it varied music played better. Pandora annoys me- I like one bluegrass song- and then rather than playing the occasional bluegrass song mixed in with other genres- I never hear bluegrass for a month- and then all of a sudden it decides to play 10 in a row.

I think Pandora when deciding what to play- picks one song you liked= and then plays 10 similar songs in a row so you end up with much less variation. Launch was more random what it played.

Anyhow- I think Launch could have been huge, and possibly saved Yahoo if they marketed it correctly and not neutered it right when people were finally beginning to use it.

Re:Launch (1)

Infiniti2000 (1720222) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762932)

The best thing about Yahoo was Launch.

Yahoo Launch? I never heard of it. Oh, wait, that's your point, isn't it? ;-)

Re:Launch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37763048)

Holy crap... I forgot about Launch!

I shall now spend hours of my workday waxing nostalgia instead of, ya know, working.

Re:Launch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37763350)

LOL on the Pandora thing... I'll setup a station, putting in heavy metal bands.. and if I don't down-vote the lighter songs, before you know it... easy listening. It's not that I don't like the lighter songs, but when I am in the mood for some guitar shredding, that's what I want. They need a "not now" button... for stuff you like, but aren't in the mood for at the moment.

Ballmer said it all (2)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762642)

From 2009:

"This really is a win-win agreement both for Microsoft and for Yahoo," said Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer. "Consumers will get better products, and it will help the industry as a whole to prosper through our shared vision and shared values."

Steve Ballmer's just happy he dodged a bullet. If it were up to him he would've gone full steam ahead on this deal. To me, this is just further evidence that he's bumbling about in the CEO position and needs to be replaced.

Re:Ballmer said it all (1)

neurovish (315867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37763160)

From 2009:

"This really is a win-win agreement both for Microsoft and for Yahoo," said Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer. "Consumers will get better products, and it will help the industry as a whole to prosper through our shared vision and shared values."

Steve Ballmer's just happy he dodged a bullet. If it were up to him he would've gone full steam ahead on this deal. To me, this is just further evidence that he's bumbling about in the CEO position and needs to be replaced.

Microsoft's failed bid for yahoo was the beginning of the....not going anywhere...for the company. Look at their share price from that time. The day that they announced a bid for yahoo, the stock accelerated a decline from which it has only marginally recovered. Right now, MSFT trades at the same levels it has for the past decade. Since 2002, the only time it has traded about $30/share regularly was right before the attempt to buy yahoo. The market knew it was a horrible decision, but Balmer did not.

Re:Ballmer said it all (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37763260)

Let him stay as long as he wants... and drive M$ into the ground

Re:Ballmer said it all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37763460)

I honestly feel they would be better off as a joined company if the merger had gone through... It may not be the same Yahoo, or even the same MS... but overall, I think it would have been better for the company, and to a lesser extent the users. They could have setup Yahoo to be the MS online services arm, moved over hotmail, and a few other points under the Yahoo umbrella, and geared some of the interactions more towards where MS had been taking things. Lower overall cost, better yield, and a better management decision. *shrug*.

I feel that a lot of MS' moves have been poorly executed in terms of "free" online services (advertising backed). And that Yahoo with some nudging and support from MS would have been better off. I stopped using Yahoo in the late 90's/early 00's when I found that a new mail account would be receiving targeted opt-in spam faster than you could change the privacy setting. I feel that was one of the most unconscionable things they could have done.

I have family that works at Yahoo, and know for a fact that they have some very talented people, and give back as much, or more than Google does to the developer community at large. I just wish their management was a bit less short sighted in their decision making.

And then he turned around and... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762708)

Bought Skype for almost as much during the middle of the greatest recession since the 1930s.

What is yahoo? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762836)

What is yahoo? I donno and I've had internet access continuously since 91.

I think they're a company like EA that buys living smaller companies and vampire kills them? Other than that...

If yahoo themselves could answer "what is yahoo" they'd at least have a chance of survival.

And lame answers like "media company" or "internet company" don't count because those mean nothing. I am looking for a real answer. "Ford" = "heavy industry making land vehicles". "Bank of America" = "Predatory bank specializing in sucking the cash out of the middle classes wallets". "Apple" = "Aspirational high quality more or less cutting edge hardware and software". "Yahoo" = "donno"

Re:What is yahoo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37764416)

In case you're serious, they were a search engine company that manually reviewed and categorized all the websites on the web back when it was possible to do that. They've since bought Google's search engine technology and branched out into other online services like mail and chat.

Re:What is yahoo? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764798)

I think "media company" can work actually, but they aren't really.

Definitely a change of viewpoints (4, Interesting)

Mabbo (1337229) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762896)

I was an intern at Microsoft in 2009. Ballmer was scheduled to have this big talk for all the interns one afternoon, and at the last moment, cancelled on us. We were all a bit annoyed, but hey, he's the CEO, 'spose that's what happens. He rescheduled for a week later. When he started, he apologized to us for cancelling. He said "Sorry I had to reschedule you guys. It basically came down to this: for the last 10 years, we've been flirting with Yahoo, and they finally agreed to go on a date with us". He was pretty excited about the Yahoo thing, very gung-ho. Side note: That talk left me really impressed with the guy. I didn't stay on with Microsoft, but I still see Ballmer in a very positive light.

Re:Definitely a change of viewpoints (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37763806)

Speaking from first hand experience, Microsoft is certainly good at putting on a show for the summer interns. After all it is desperate to stay competitive in the race for fresh talent, and since anyone who leaves Microsoft for better opportunities rarely ever returns, attracting new hires is its only hope of staying in the game.

You need to be at Microsoft a little longer as an employee to realize the complete lack of strategy or vision in Ballmer. He is a numbers man, and is only good at operations, and maintaining the status quo, which is why competitors have leapfrogged Microsoft in the last decade - in Search, Phone, Tablet, Social, to name a few obvious ones, but also the whole overall web service / cloud movement that it's taken Microsoft over a decade to finally get a handle on.

Re:Definitely a change of viewpoints (2)

Forrest Kyle (955623) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764070)

"but I still see Ballmer in a very positive light."

I seriously never thought I'd see those words on Slashdot. =)

they bought skype then for 2-3x market value (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762986)

Sounds like a repeat to me.

Re:they bought skype then for 2-3x market value (1)

Strudelkugel (594414) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764540)

Sounds like a repeat to me.

At first it does, but then I read that since Skype is a foreign company, Microsoft could use its euro-dollar cash to buy the company with "pre-tax dollars", at least from a US corporation perspective. In other words, the money used to buy Skype was never taxed, so the effective price could have been at much as 35% lower (the US corporate tax rate.)

What surprises me is that the board didn't force Ballmer to resign after Yahoo plunged in price. How many people get that close to making a multi-billion dollar mistake and still keep their job?

"Context" (1)

Fishbulb (32296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37763386)

If by "context", you mean "spin".

Ballmer's spin-fu is ++good!

What everybody is forgetting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37763668)

What everybody is forgetting is that the lengthy period it took for Microsoft and Yahoo to figure things out was a big part of destroying Yahoo. Yahoo was certainly not at its peak when all this started, but it still had a lot of talent and could have gotten itself out of its latest slump. However, once the Microsoft talks started, top talent left in droves, and particularly after Carol Bartz became CEO, the stream of departures became a deluge.

In other words, it was Ballmer and Microsoft that caused Yahoo to end up with half the valuation it had before.

Ballmer is Lucky (1)

glodime (1015179) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764106)

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said "Sometimes you're lucky."

No Steve, you are lucky every day of your luxurious life, every damn day.

Yahoo! Finance (1)

rasteroid (264986) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764172)

I still use http://finance.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com] for tracking my stocks, which I think is pretty good and keep coming back to it each time I go and try out other finance/stock market sites. However I admit I haven't really looked around for (free) alternatives in the last year or so. Anyone know of any good alternative (free) stock market/investing/finance sites?

Ballmer a Tech Genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37764376)

What amazes me about the story. He's the leader of a major tech company and he completely clueless about tech.

Seriously, a major tech company CEO having no idea what's good or bad for his company?

And everyone wonders why MS is going down the tubes.

Worst CEO ever (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764596)

As someone who made the downpayment on his first house by buying and selling Microsoft stock, I congratulate Ballmer on being the worst CEO of Microsoft ever, from a shareholder and investor perspective.

Congrats!

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