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Microsoft/Yahoo! Merger a Good Idea?

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the the-big-get-bigger dept.

186

NorbMan writes "Last month there was speculation about Microsoft's interest in joining forces with Yahoo! to battle Google. Today, a Merrill Lynch analyst recommended a Yahoo! takeover by Microsoft. From the article: "A Yahoo/MSN-Microsoft combination would have garnered approximately 41% share in the US of search queries [in April] versus Google with 44%.""

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Very bad idea (5, Funny)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595607)

Very bad idea. No one will trust their business to a company called 'Microhoo!'.

Re:Very bad idea (4, Insightful)

LLuthor (909583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595636)

I don't think that a merger like that would result in a name change.

Microsoft merging with Yahoo! is like me merging with pizza. It ends up with a slightly larger me.

Re:Very bad idea (4, Funny)

jkrise (535370) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595641)

Microsoft merging with Yahoo! is like me merging with pizza. It ends up with a slightly larger me.

While you may feel larger and bigger temporarily, after merging with pizza... after a few hours, the pizza exits with a foul smell, and you're left longing for another merger. True growth can NEVER be achieved by mergers. You need to Grow Up to understand that.

Re:Very bad idea (2, Insightful)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595687)

True growth can NEVER be achieved by mergers.

Tell that to GE. Admittedly, they seem to do the merger thing better than almost anyone, but mergers, when done correctly, can indeed lead to organic growth. Big company acquires smaller one in a niche industry. Big company then pours its resources and expertise into this promising new area and grows that business in a way it never could have otherwise.

Certainly, Microsoft/Yahoo wouldn't be such a case. And frankly, having one player with 44% of the search market and another with 41% isn't very attractive. A Duopoly, after all, isn't very much better than a Monopoly.

Re:Very bad idea (4, Interesting)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595737)

A Duopoly, after all, isn't very much better than a Monopoly.

Huh? Duoploy? I assume you mean Microsoft and Google? Are you suggesting that having just two companies competing against each other for market share has no advantages compared to a monopoly? And they will be competing, chairs and all. Even just two companies competing against each other to produce the best product is infinitely better than one that has full power and no desire to innovate. Look at Intel/AMD.

The only problem is if they work together to control the market and then share each others profits, but I cannot see that happening.

Re:Very bad idea (2, Informative)

SavvyPlayer (774432) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595971)

Huh? Duoploy? I assume you mean Microsoft and Google?
Yes, that's what TS said.

Are you suggesting that having just two companies competing against each other for market share has no advantages compared to a monopoly?
No, the point TS was making is simply that for any given market, more competitors > fewer competitors. Therefore any way you slice it, this proposed merger would be better for Microsoft/Google than the search market in which they compete.

Look at Intel/AMD.
Intel and AMD have not until very recently shared a level playing field. 5 years ago Intel owned 80% of the PC processor market, to AMD's sub-20%. Once both market and marketshare stabilize (limiting new growth opportunity), both companies will begin to focus on minimizing risk, establishing price equilibrium and direct R&D spending at new markets in search of new growth opportunities. Only if there are no such growth opportunities will these competitors turn up the heat on one another.

The only problem is if they work together to control the market and then share each others profits, but I cannot see that happening.
While outright boardroom collusion may not occur (right away), the incentives and conditions associated with duopoly competition make fertile ground for tacit collusion.

What do CPU cycles and information [nii.ac.jp] have in common? Both are commodities. Once a commodities market is established, production itself only represents a growth opportunity during periods of increased global demand. Innovation is a calculated risk such companies are often not willing to take when tacit collusion promises steady cash flow.

Re:Very bad idea (4, Insightful)

Murphy Murph (833008) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596055)

The only problem is if they work together to control the market and then share each others profits, but I cannot see that happening.


See the stagnation of Home Depot / Lowes for an example of what else can go wrong. Two entrenched players does not make a competitive market.

Re:Very bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15596109)

Yeah, I can see how the lack of innovation of power tools and bathroom fixtures could be upsetting.

Re:Very bad idea (1)

parrotheadpsu (864425) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596312)

two firms better than one?
see collusion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collusion [wikipedia.org]
i don't think you'll really see much difference in the long run.

Re:Very bad idea (0, Offtopic)

I Own Things (976235) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596459)

I believe his intent was to suggest that having just two companies in control of 85% or more of anything is similar to a monopoly since the competitive edge is dulled when it is between a limited few. In this case just two. Microsoft - At lunch one day we were discussing past jobs. One of our secretaries who is divorced, has kids, and just getting by mentioned that she only had one other job so she was greatful to have her job at the Lucia Mar Unified School District. She went on to say that it was a good thing she left the other job and moved to the central coast of California since the previous job didn't pay so well. In fact, there was times when they had to pay her with a partial paycheck ...and stock. Someone casually asked what was the company and if it was still around. When she said Microsoft you could have heard a pin drop in Argentina. The rest of us looked at each other and back at her, then I asked her if she still had those shares. She, unknowingly, said yeah, are they worth anything? She quit the next day, cashed in half of her stock and is a multi-millionaire. Why do I mention this? Because it is wonderful to hear or in this case to know of someone getting filthy rich off of Microsoft...other than Bill! I hope this wont get killed since we need some good news at /. every once in a while!

Re:Very bad idea (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595829)

Consider how the Microsoft takeover of hotmail went, and then think, could microsoft really handle acquiring yahoo? Microsoft has attempted time and time again to aquire big web portals but i don't remember it ever working out in the long run. maybe i just don't read enough up on it but i don't know that there would be enough profitability in a merger.

Not so fast, Lone Starr! (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595804)

Microsoft merging with Yahoo! is like me merging with pizza. It ends up with a slightly larger me.

I'm not quite sure about that... remember Pizza the Hutt [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Very bad idea (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595659)

Or 'Yaicrosoft' for that matter.
I'm all for the idea though, when evil consolidates it just makes it easier to hit.

Re:Very bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15595773)

MicroWho ?

Re:Very bad idea (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595800)

True, but they will however capitalize on the teenage girl market if they call themselves "OOsoft!"

And here's the obligatory, OMG PONIES!!!

Re:Very bad idea (4, Funny)

Dannon (142147) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595948)

"Where do <yodel>yoooooooooooooooooooooou</yodel> want to go today?"

Re:Very bad idea (1)

catwh0re (540371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596083)

What about "Ya Soft!"

But seriously do ML ever look at the implications outside of the USA? It might bring them closer in the USA, but for the rest of the world it's one fly for google to swat instead of two.

Re:Very bad idea -NOT (1)

47F0 (523453) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596108)

C'mon guys - it's a great idea. Microsoft can then spend the next five years throwing a ton o' cash at getting rid of those nasty FreeBSD machines and replacing all the LISP code with V-Basic. Should be good for dogfood giggles for years to come!

shouldn't that be Microhoo! ??? (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596193)

or perhaps Micyahoo!

anyway, it would get a whole bunch of yahoos! in one place :-D

Re:Very bad idea (2, Funny)

Zemran (3101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596409)

or Ya Soft :p

Why do analysts bother anymore? (3, Insightful)

SpacetimeComputing (860691) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595612)

Can anyone say antitrust?

Re:Why do analysts bother anymore? (3, Insightful)

jopsen (885607) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595733)

I agree, companies like yahoo, Microsoft, Google and IBM for that matter, should NOT be allow to buy each other. Or merge for that matter. I know that in Denmark (country in Europe) we have competition-control-authority prohibiting things like that. But US is proberly too liberal to bloack things like that, right? Bigger cooperations are NOT good for competition! It creates monopols and destroys innovation...

Re:Why do analysts bother anymore? (2, Insightful)

elucidnation (800825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596046)

Given that Google is the big dog in most of the areas Yahoo competes in, I don't see the DOJ interfering in a merger. In the past, Microsoft has been very successful at buying or bullying its way to success. I don't see that working this time. MS has never shown an ability to innovate and there is no one they can buy to match Google. MS + Yahoo is like adding crap to crap.

Merger would be (doubleplus)Good for America (TM) (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15595614)

After all, Google is the America-hating empire [shelleytherepublican.com] !

This would also counter the European threat to our computers [shelleytherepublican.com] , with its shameful and sordid history [shelleytherepublican.com] .

Re:Merger would be (doubleplus)Good for America (T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15595874)

Can you say shelleytherepublican.com one more time?

Re:Merger would be (doubleplus)Good for America (T (1)

leon.gandalf (752828) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595978)

All I can say is Hitler would LOVE this Shelley the Republican person...

Re:Merger would be (doubleplus)Good for America (T (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596229)

Nah, even Hitler would be too liberal for her.

Re:Merger would be (doubleplus)Good for America (T (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596076)

Is shelleytherepublican website a joke or mental-illness?

I wonder why the name reminds me of Frankenstein.

Re:Merger would be (doubleplus)Good for America (T (1)

azuretek (708981) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596396)

It's obviously a joke, if someone actually believed it they would have no grasp of reality, insane...

Yes!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15595621)

Maybe if they merge they can have a sinking fleet of redudance and end their miserable lives quickly... rather than the old-fashioned one after the other sinking ship style.. ?

As bad as the HP - Compaq merger... (4, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595622)

Theoretically, the combined user-base would surpass Google. But many users like me, never visit MSN / Yahoo after acquiring a Google identity (gmail).

The combined HPaq is still below Dell, although prior to the merger, the combn. was much bigger.

Re:As bad as the HP - Compaq merger... (4, Interesting)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595665)

I kept my yahoo address and used it as my primary. After a merger, I would move to Google.

Re:As bad as the HP - Compaq merger... (3, Funny)

wonkobeeblebrox (983151) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595820)

A Yahoo/MSN-Microsoft combination would have garnered approximately 41% share in the US of search queries [in April] versus Google with 44%


I don't know if that statistic is accurate. Let's all google it and check...

Re:As bad as the HP - Compaq merger... (1)

synonymous (707504) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596295)

Ditto

Re:As bad as the HP - Compaq merger... (4, Insightful)

Ezubaric (464724) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595674)

And computers have a certain amount of "lock in." If a vendor has been supplying you for years, you might have built your system around certain hardware or service assumptions that might not be met if you switched.

Search, on the other hand, is a very fungible resource with practically no switching cost.

Re:As bad as the HP - Compaq merger... (4, Insightful)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595721)

Remember when AOL bought netscape thinking those millions of people who had netscape.com as a home page would become AOL users? It would be just like that.

NO, NO, NO (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15595623)

Anything Microsoft touches turns to ruins! We should learn to not let them deal with searching and product placement.... just look at MSN.com!

Has anyone used it lately? Their supposed "new" search thing on which they dumped huge money isn't even worth the mention!

Google.com all the way! God bless Google, and Gmail and all what they provide.

Don't think so... (5, Insightful)

kinocho (978177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595625)

Somehow, I think that the moment yahoo joins (msn eats it up) with microsoft, mysteriously half the 41% will move to google or another different engine.

Is not numbers we are talking here, is not even efficiency. IT's TRUST.

Re:Don't think so... (3, Interesting)

john_chr (700513) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595700)

But will MS shoot themselves in the foot by insisting that all that nasty Yahoo BSD unix infrastructure is ripped out and replaced with shiny new Windows Servers?!? By the time Ms-Yahoo recovers from the ensuing fiasco Google will have eaten their breakfast, lunch and dinner. Did they learn anything from the Hotmail takeover? This would easily be an order of magnitude (or two) bigger.

Re:Don't think so... (2, Interesting)

sasdrtx (914842) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596291)

Yep. I don't know if these companies are stupid enough to actually pursue this, but it would be an disaster of biblical proportion for both. Which is why I'd love to see it happen.

I can't see the slightest of business reasons to merge. Where are you going to get any synergy or economies of scale? Microsoft is way too big already (for its own good, much less the rest of us). They should be thinking about spin-offs, not acquisitions.

Why Yahoo (1)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595627)

With $40b in the bank, why not just buy Google and be done with it :)

http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Because google will evaporate if MS buys them (4, Insightful)

hagbard5235 (152810) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595646)

First, Google's capitalization is higher than Yahoo's (they are more expensive).

Second, remember when AOL bought Netscape? Something like 40% of their workforce quit the next day. If MS buys Google, the google brain trust (which is were all the value is) hits the door immediately.

Re:Because google will evaporate if MS buys them (0, Offtopic)

Cicero382 (913621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595814)

Errr...

I haven't even read TFA, but doesn't it say the MS is in a position to buy Yahoo, not Google?

Re:Because google will evaporate if MS buys them (1)

borgheron (172546) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595878)

I think you know what he means, and he's right. :) Sometimes when one company buys another there is a mass exodus especially if the company doing the buying is not well liked.

GJC

The Sun - Netscape - AOL alliance? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595965)

Sun Netscape AOL alliance [com.com]

Sounds vaguely familiar - Just change a few terms:

Sun = Microsoft
Netscape = Google
AOL = Yahoo

Re:Why Yahoo (2, Interesting)

mattyrobinson69 (751521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595648)

Probably because of two reasons - Google is a a company that afaik writes everything in python, on linux boxes. Their search runs on a linux cluster - something microsoft wont beable to compete with any time soon. Also, it probably wont be allowed by the american equiv of the monopolies and mergers commission

Re:Why Yahoo (3, Interesting)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595689)

Google is a a company that afaik writes everything in python, on linux boxes.

Hardly. Remember the story just a couple of days ago about which operating system and browser different companies' employees use? Google employees mostly use Windows! [andrewhitchcock.org] (Insert huge disclaimer about the unreliability of these stats here). Most of Google's software is aimed at Windows users. Native Linux support often comes much later.

As for writing 'everything in Python'? Python is a great language but I doubt if all that much of their code is written Python. A lot of their work is C/C++/Java/Javascript/Ajax/etc...

I know that on the Python homepage it says:

"Python has been an important part of Google since the beginning, and remains so as the system grows and evolves. "

-- Peter Norvig, Google


I would actually be interested to know what products (if any) they have that are powered mostly or entirely by Python. Does anyone know?

Re:Why Yahoo (1)

Irashtar (836973) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595771)

Commercially, nearly zero, for the simple reason that python reads straight from the source, so being closed source is nearly impossible.

Re:Why Yahoo (1)

baadger (764884) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595819)

Python can be 'compiled' to bytecode files (using the py_compile module), there are also ways to pack python and your application into single Windows .exe files's. Details [effbot.org]

Re:Why Yahoo (1)

mattyrobinson69 (751521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595974)

Well i remember a story on slashdot a while ago, about them hiring the lead python developer, and i remember reading something along the lines that they did that because they use python for their search code, or something. I did say IIRC.

Google, Python, Guido (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596023)

Well i remember a story on slashdot a while ago, about them hiring the lead python developer

I googled...

I guess you mean this article [slashdot.org] ?

Thanks for the information - I wasn't aware of that until just now. I guess that there will be something in the comments on that article about what Google plans to do / have done with Python.

Re:Why Yahoo (1)

jalet (36114) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596390)

> I would actually be interested to know what products (if any) they have that are powered
> mostly or entirely by Python. Does anyone know?

At least they have Guido van Rossum http://www.python.org/~guido/ [python.org] who invented Python.

So I suppose they need this language one way or another...

What Google employees use (1)

harmonica (29841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596399)

Hardly. Remember the story just a couple of days ago about which operating system and browser different companies' employees use? Google employees mostly use Windows! (Insert huge disclaimer about the unreliability of these stats here).

To throw in some numbers from my site: Googlers coming to it with Linux: 9, with Windows: 2.

Too small a sample size, I know. But it was the same tendency towards Linux last month: Linux: 11, Windows: 1.

Alternative search engines (3, Insightful)

scenestar (828656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595629)

Face it, there's really no way around google yahoo or msn.

Have you tried finding a good alternative to any of them?
Most smaller engines are powered by either yahoo or gooogle.

Re:Alternative search engines (1)

infosec_spaz (968690) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595857)

True, either that, or some shitty .asp search engine that could not intelligently search for poo in a pile of it!

Re:Alternative search engines (3, Informative)

Moebius Tripp (984640) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595882)

FWIW, this is one of the many reasons I have gone to a meta-crawler. I don't even trust the page ratings from any of the big players. I use Dogpile and find I get a slightly more effective search.

Yahoo is loaded with crap. Not gonna happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15595630)

Microsoft can't simply assume all the crap that Yahoo have bought and distribute. Yahoo is large, baby. It's not search only.

More Centralization of market power? (2, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595631)

Microsoft has already been convicted of monopoly activity and yet somehow people keep talking merger.

Yep that's it _, we want to allow more centralization of market power.

Up to the shareholders ? (3, Insightful)

Quiberon (633716) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595633)

Isn't it sort-of a private matter for the shareholders of the 2 companies to figure whehter they want to do it ? And then the monopoly regulators ?

This monopoly of commercial operating systems for personal computers, and monopoly of commercial word processors for personal computers, is proving somewhat a millstone round the neck of Microsoft. Are they about to sell off these businesses so that they can move on ? Games consoles, search services, etc.

I expect if the price was right, IBM would take Windows and/or Word off their hands. It's only money.

Makes no sense from a platform point of view (5, Insightful)

brentlaminack (513462) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595639)

Ok, these 'market analysts' look at spreadsheets of market shares, etc. Look at the technology under the hood: Microsoft uses all Windows products. Yahoo uses BSD and PHP as their environment. I'm sure Gates and company would LOVE to be running such a large, critical portion of their business on OSS! Or throw all Yahoo's code away and re-write in .NET? Right!! From a platform point of view, anybody who thinks about this for more than 30 seconds will see that this is a non-starter. Nothing here. Move along.

Re:Makes no sense from a platform point of view (4, Insightful)

smallpaul (65919) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595735)

The technology under the hood is totally irrelevant from a business profitability point of view. IIRC, Hotmail did not run on Windows at first either. Over time, Microsoft ported it over. It really isn't so hard to believe that they would do that with Yahoo as well. They would start by porting the back end services (already accessed via internal web services) and then work towards the user interface. They might offshore the work because it is fairly straightforward. It might take five years, but who cares? It would be a small expense compared to the acquisition cost of Yahoo itself.

Bonehead Business Logic (4, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596078)

The technology under the hood is totally irrelevant from a business profitability point of view. Hotmail did not run on Windows at first either. Over time, Microsoft ported it over. ... It might take five years, but who cares?

I can smell the money burning when I hear stupid shit like that. The arrogance is stunning. Have you seen the contradiction in your thinking from the above parsing yet?

Who cares? The customer cares, you idiots! They are not going to hang around for five years worth of buggy service. That's Microsoft, though, their precious marketing image is always more important to them than actual service or .... the customer. Yahoo appropriately stands for "You Always Have Other Options."

Re:Makes no sense from a platform point of view (1)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595960)

For better or for worse, most top-level business decisions do not factor for the technical aspects you mentioned.

Remember how MS bought Hotmail and how they've tried to rewrite everything.

Genius! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15595645)

What's better than having the trust and reliability of Microsoft paired with the strategy and insight of Yahoo!

Oh...

Re:Genius! (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595869)

What's better than having the trust and reliability of Microsoft paired with the strategy and insight of Yahoo!

I don't know, but I'm sure some marketing genius will come up with the answer and express it in a multi-line spam footer and have it appear on every other email that arrives in my inbox.

------------
The all-new My! Live! Microsoft! Yahoo!
Bringing your online world together. Personalize your homepage. One place for your
news, search, mail, and more ...
Register online now!

Yeah, you Yahoo/MSN/Hotmail users, I'm talking to you.

NSA-transcript: Bush - Gonzales, 06/18/06 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15595661)

Say, uh, Gonzo, those gol durn Canucks is gone and stole the whole mother lovin' show here. Jesus H., we gotta grab the reins PDQ. Who ya'll got we can kinda, heh heh heh, toss under the tracks pronto, like? We got anything?

        Let me see, here ... best I have right now is this loony bunch of Haitians down in Miami. Weird bunch, and not a lot on them right now. No weapons, money. Just a lot of talk.

        Big talk?

        Told our guy they want to blow up the Sears tower.

        Sears tower, eh? That a big un? Where it's at?

        (Sigh) Biggest we got. In Chicago, sir.

        Haitians, eh? Got no Al Qaeda? Nuttin?

        Well, they've been trying to shop themselves to Al Qaeda.

        Now, that's somethin'. How do we know this?

        Our guy is their Al Qaeda.

        Say, Gonzo, heh heh heh, ya'll gotcherself a one stop terrorist shop over there, dontcha? Ah remember somethin' from second year 'bout en-trap-ment, but I guess these guys ain't likely to be seein' their day in court, heh heh heh.

        Not likely, sir.

        Still, sumpin's got me a little queasy 'bout it. I mean, no weapons, no money, no backers, and the only talk we got is braggin' to our own Al Qaeda imposter. How many dumb fuckers out there gonna buy this?

        More than 29%, sir.

        Heh heh heh heh heh. At's a corker, Gonzo. Ya know what ya'll are? Ya'll one a them sleepers. 29%, heh heh heh. I gitcher point. Yep, ya'll got some brass ones, too. Yer lucky Rover's in a good mood today, Gonzo. You go on ahead now and leggo the hounds on these guys. Lemme know the hour so's I can have the bases covered 'round here. And don't make it too late, ya hear? More than 29%, heh heh heh, It's a goddamn good thing I don't have ta run on that slogan, heh heh heh ...You're doin' a heck of a job, Gonzo.

        Uh ...thanks, sir.

Er, for a moment maybe (4, Insightful)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595662)

They'd have 41% for about 10 seconds until users began migrating. There's no way Yahoo could fit comfortably into the MS spectrum of products. The real stickiness for Yahoo isn't search, it's webmail and the other services that get people using it as a portal. They search at Yahoo because its already loaded up in their browser. None of those services are something that MS wants to maintain -- there's way too much friction with MS's existing products. So they either kill it all off or force users toward Live et al, which is not what those users wanted, not the least reason being MS has a negative reputation in this space.

Poisoning all of Yahoo's services doesn't gain you any marketshare in search. Maybe a few percent as collateral damage, but nothing like what's being predicted here.

Re:Er, for a moment maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15595930)

None of those services are something that MS wants to maintain -- there's way too much friction with MS's existing products.

Well.. they are merging Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger.

Only about search? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15595681)

Does anybody use Yahoo for more than just searching? What about their excellent portal, My Yahoo! [yahoo.com] ? It's the one place I always start from to get my daily and intra-daily doses of news, including slashdot. It's great for tracking stocks. It's highly customizable.

What happens when Microsoft gets its hands on Yahoo? How long before this great site stops working properly on anything but IE? Can people just switch to Google and find this kind of service? Does anybody do this anywhere near as well as Yahoo?

Re:Only about search? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15596557)

I never used yahoo and never will. Though the link you gave me points to a site that is nearly identical to http://www.google.com/ig [google.com] (yep that's where I watch the Slashdot RSS). Only as far as I've seen yahoo has less options than google to add.

For once, the analysts are right (4, Interesting)

gjuk (940514) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595684)

Technologies used are irrelevant, from a business point of view (don't flame that) - it's all about market share. Google are running away with the search market - and with it, the future of advertising. New entrants have no chance, so the only competition is going to come from the existing players getting their act together. Both yahoo and MS have embedded user bases which will erode unless they can get to a par with google. If this means rewriting some code base, or MS having to rely on oss for a while, so be it. If they don't rapidly tackle google, they'll lose a lot of $$ in the medium term, and lose their business in the long term. Of course - one day the US Govt could break google up (Bell style) but they've never done that with MS, so MS really do have to win the web war to survive and at the moment they're being pulped by google. Yahoo may offer a shortcut to victory (or at least a more even fight).

Re:For once, the analysts are right (1)

wannabgeek (323414) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595982)

You are wrong on so many levels. Technologies are important - not from a user perspective, but from an implementation cost perspective. As someone else pointed out, can MS let all the Y! infrastructure running on their BSD servers? To rip it out and reimplement everything in MS tech is not an easy task. If you remember, a few of the first quarters' blues of HPQ have been blamed on problems with integration of the ERP systems used by HP and Compaq. They have recovered from that since, but it is much tougher to do in online market.

New entrants have no chance, so the only competition is going to come from the existing players getting their act together.

If there is any market where the new entrants have the best shot, it has to be this. The entry to barrier is not too high and there is nothing like customer loyalty. If I get better search results on xyz.com, I simply point my browser there, and done. Migration of email accounts is probably not so easy, but guess what, you can always open another email account and get the older one to forward all your mail there and slowly the older account will rot away, as your contacts keep updating their address books with your new mail address.

Re:For once, the analysts are right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15596212)

Technologies used are irrelevant, from a business point of view (don't flame that) - it's all about market share.

I'm not going to flame you, because the sad fact is that everyone in business thinks in exactly the way you describe -- even though history has proven time and time again that this way of thinking is wrong. Technologies, customer perception and loyalty, employee loyalty and training, and just about *everything* is more important than marketshare, because marketshare is just an abstraction of the interaction of all these other things.

I used to work for a certain (former) major ISP, right around the time they merged with another major ISP, then bought up a third large (but not major) ISP. After the buy-up, I was promoted to web hosting, where my specific duties were to maintain business web accounts until such a time as these were transitioned to our own web services.

We web techs later discovered that, when Major ISP bought Large ISP, the people at the top were only interested in the dialup accounts. The web accounts were, to use the words of the CEO, "assigned a zero value". The transition plan for web acocunts was to give them notice of the shutoff date and let the customers buy a new web account and migrate the data themselves.

Not only did these businesses cancel their webhosting completely, they also cancelled the hundreds of dialup accounts they purchased for their organization. Major ISP lost marketshare as a result of their failure to think about customers as anything more than mere numbers and, of course, had to lay off I and a couple thousand other people to recoup their losses. To save money on tech support, Major ISP outsourced everything overseas, but customers didn't like the quality of support after that and started to switch. Major ISP is still a national brand, but you don't hear about them as much. Haven't seen many tv commercials for them lately...

Re:For once, the analysts are right (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596356)

Yahoo may offer a shortcut to victory (or at least a more even fight).

I dunno... To put an anology on this, it would be like China invading India so they could install a puppet government in India to fight against Russia when India was already at war with Russia.

It really doesn't make much sense other than to make an even bigger over extended Indo-China nation to fight Russia especially when the Indian's aren't going to be loyal to their new Chinese rulers.

And secondly, all the resources and effort spent on invading India hasn't affected Russia in the slightest.

Russia is still there and hasn't been hurt one bit by China's war on India, and sure fighting both.

Why do they assume (4, Insightful)

briancnorton (586947) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595686)

Why is it assumed that all the people that currently use yahoo will instantly start using the new MSN search? You can't buy search marketshare. It don't work like that.

Re:Why do they assume (4, Insightful)

shird (566377) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595708)

because they will simply point search.yahoo.com/search.cgi or whatever to the MSN servers. 99% of the people that use yahoo search wouldnt know the difference. If they could tell the difference, chances are they would be using google instead. Generally the people that use yahoo use it from yahoo messenger, some bookmark thats been installed, yahoo desktop search etc.. they dont use it because they think its actually a good search engine.

"It don't work like that." (1)

Awod (956596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596251)

It dont?

Re:Why do they assume (1)

MrWa (144753) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596346)

Why is it assumed that all the people that currently use yahoo will instantly start using the new MSN search?

why would users need to "switch"? If 41% use MSN or Yahoo search, the combined company has 41%.

Re:Why do they assume (1)

jalet (36114) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596412)

> It don't work like that.

Neither does english.

(sorry I couldn't resist)

Yes it's a great idea. (4, Funny)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595705)

Instead of two large companies to worry about we only have to fear one even larger company.

Re:Yes it's a great idea. (1)

Gryle (933382) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596335)

Bigger makes for a better target.

Re-coding would be expensive (3, Interesting)

kirun (658684) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595715)

So, would their first task after merger be to port Yahoo's massive infrastructure over to .NET? It sure would look bad if they kept Yahoo's BSD-based services. Yahoo also has enough integration issues of its own - for example, combining Yahoo Photos with flickr, Yahoo MyWeb with del.icio.us , etc - bringing another bundle of technology into the mix would just completely bog developers down and allow Google to run further ahead. Plus, there is immense resistance to that sort of change - note the outrage a while back when Yahoo bought up various services like eGroups, and planned to merge them with the Yahoo Clubs. People didn't want their Club turning into a Group (despite the fact that the Groups was a better service). Announcing that your Yahoo Group will become a MSN Group (powered by Yahoo) isn't going to go down well.

Also, perhaps combining the two services wouldn't result in the combined marketshare? I use the search.yahoo.com interface on occasions to get a second opinion to go with Google - surely various other people use various sites in this way. If you turn two sets of results into one, you get one slice of this pie, instead of two. And will the shiny new merged services have every single feature the two previous ones did? I think not, as the most likely course of action will be "throw the worse technology away, add a few features to the better one, and call it a merger". So, you'll lose everyone relying on features X, Y, and Z who now have no reason to use your service.

God Damned Suits (2, Interesting)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595746)

Being able to make a good search engine is a skill that only a select few posess. They guys at Yahoo aren't bad. If something like a hostile takeover or merger occurs, how many of them are going to resign within a matter of weeks? I'd venture to say "a lot". People don't like it when established company atmosphere is changed all of a sudden. If Microsoft were to gobble up Yahoo, of course they'd law down a bunch of changes and piss off the best techies. When that happens, Microsoft will have pretty much paid a couple of billion dollars to buy "*.yahoo.com". It's a valuable domain name, but not that valueable.

LK

M$ merging with ANYONE is bad! (0)

xjimhb (234034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595757)

What SHOULD have happened as a result of the anti-trust action against M$ was a ten-year moratorium prohibiting M% from merging with or acquiring ANY OTHER COMPANIES! They should have been limited by the court to whatever they could accomplish internally, without swallowing other companies and reducing competition further. Total purchases of products from other companies should also have been forbidden, as well as exclusive licensing (I guess a non-exclusive license might be OK).

But of course the Bushwimps would never think of such a thing so they settled for the traditional 40 lashes with a wet noodle.

Optimistic retention numbers (4, Interesting)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595774)

"41% share in the US of search"

This assumes that the merger doesn't cause users to run away. Consider both Yahoo's and MS's recent efforts to revamp their website: both caused drops is marketshare.

The only company gaining serious traction in search is Ask.

Smart money says pay for a little guy with upward mobility. If MS were smart (and it isn't) they'd go after Ask. Merrill Lynch is just brainlessly applying old merger principles to new economies. It's not helpful.

In the computer business, smart money is on growth, not marketshare.

Creepy. (1, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595784)

Big Brother + Viruses + China = :(

Re:Creepy. (2, Funny)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595850)

Yeah, Google creeps me out, too.

MSN and Yahoo search engines? (2, Funny)

__declspec (708226) | more than 8 years ago | (#15595947)

Is there a search engine available at MSN or Yahoo?!?!

Re:MSN and Yahoo search engines? (1)

TheDreadSlashdotterD (966361) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596197)

No, just text boxes with a button labeled search. They've outsourced the results to China and India so you just end up with a lot of garbage. I will admit that some of the results are meaningful, but are irrelevent to the search term (guns when searching for Jell-o, Faeries for War, M$ products for Linux well maybe not irrelevent there).

This should be blocked by the FTC! (2, Insightful)

Eternal Annoyance (815010) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596009)

The only motive to do this for microsoft is to make its own monopoly position stronger. Mergeing with yahoo would result in a stronger position versus google, makeing the possebility for elimenating google even greater. Remember: microsoft does NOT really need yahoo (it's already got MSN). Microsoft only needs yahoo when it wants to elimenate google.

Why would Microsoft want to elimenate google? Well, for starters: it's a big, high profile, highly visible company... which just happens to support Open Source Software, and that includes... Linux (do you ppl remember Microsoft declaring 'war' on Linux?).

If this merger is allowed to continue, we might not have a big, high profile, highly visible google in a few years... and that would be very convenient to Microsoft.

Sum of the Parts can be less than the Total ... (2, Insightful)

Herschel Cohen (568) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596015)

seen the tactit assumption that the markets parts add up to the new total. This assumption is made too often. However, if the parts are inherently a misfit, the total too often is much less than the sum of the parts.

It seems this advice was given in desperation, since the goal should be to enhance the whole. That is, just becoming bigger does not assure retention of markets. Moreover, misfits can destroy existing value. Despite the currently available cash horde at Microsoft's disposal if these units do not mesh to create greater value than their independent parts the premium paid is not worth the price.

If this action is taken, at least, no matter how bad the executive decisions are it is unlikely to destroy MS immediately as Borland did to itself when it bulked up to fight MS. Borland simply did not recognize the value of some of the pieces that could have generated positive cash flow despite not being premier products.

no way (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15596040)

The corporate cultures of these two companies just couldn't live together. Microsoft a technology company good at enforcing the status quo, Yahoo is wannabe technology company that survives by being smarmy and sleazy, while forced to follow companies with better hiring practices and less conservatism in the ranks. I pray for you Yahoo employees, oh wait you're already praying...you should too, considering how you make your money.

This might be the best thing for Google EVAR!!!! (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596248)

Seriously! No question that Yahoo does search better than Google. There is a prevailing, ridiculous reasoning among companies that once you buy a smaller company you somehow become that company and that's great for competitors.

It's been great for Southwest airlines. They do air way better than everyone else, their market cap and growth prove it. I used to work for American and everytime Southwest came into a market AA closed up shop and left (Nashville hub anyone?)

American planted themselves a hub in San Jose California (primarily to get Tokyo routes) and it used to be that AA and United controlled traffic intra-California. Sure there was AirCal and PSA but the solution was to just buy them up. Then came the day that Southwest came into California and within two years became the largest intra-California carrier. American's solution? Sucker Reno Air (then based in Reno) to take over their gates. Southwest got a GREAT run for their money and actually had a formidable opponent.

So what did AA do? They bought Reno Air and brought to it the AA culture and Southwest said THANKS!!!! They just bought out Southwest's competitor and AA was an easy target to pick off because of their inefficiency that's pervasive among legacy carriers.

Know why Warren Buffett makes so much money? He insists as part of an acquisiton that current management stays and then gives them a fat pay raise. If it ain't broke, don't fix it and in M&A, the "M" tends to do a lot of "fixing".

If MS buys Yahoo! and brings the MS culture, then the union will not represent a significant threat to Google. Yahoo! does search better than MS and bring the MS culture and mindset only dumbs it down.

When you chain two people and throw one off the bridge the other tends to go.

Why? For marketing. (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596300)

Microsoft seems to have lots of ideas for cornering the market, problem is they don't work on thier market as much as trying to corner all the rest (unless to make it in favor of thiers.)

Until Vista comes out and proves to be something that solves their issues of worms, security, and spam zombies I think thier resources are best suited on what they already have (fix Windows, Outlook, IE, etc.). And if Vista doesn't, well they will need to still thier problems.

Since Microsoft is primarily a manufacturer and marketer of thier OS we already know any aquisition of a search service is an extension of thier software (and video game) marketing department. Do they care about kids wanting to get the facts right for thier book report? only as far as it helps sell Windows/Office, etc. and keeps them there, or helps generate revenue through Windows/Office, etc.

I dunno about this... (2, Funny)

capilot (809596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596345)

I dunno, that's a lot of evil to concentrate into one place.

Re. the naming: Back when IBM-acquiring-Apple rumors used to circulate back in the 80's, the joke was this: What do you call the merger between IBM and Apple? IBM.

Ted Turner says "no" (1)

Hootenanny (966459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596349)

This would be a disaster on the order of the AOL-Time Warner merger. Kiss your market cap goodbye.

hmmm (1)

RickBauls (944510) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596365)

Two companies, who both have products I never use, are about to merge... Move along, nothing to see here.

The Last Yahoo (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15596370)

Such a merger would be the death of Yahoo. interminable antitrust trials would follow, Yahoo would bleed employees and the end results would be
 
  1. Microsoft further hobbled by antitrust restrictions,
  2. Yahoo permanently wounded,
  3. Google picks up the unhappy users.

Yahoo is in trouble and needs to do something. But such a merger would almost certainly kill Yahoo rather than save it. Microsoft would be financially unaffected, remaining a big bag of money.

yahoo-msn-live-plus (2, Funny)

Kuku_monroe (753761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596462)

Now i just can't imagine how bloated will the new yahoo-msn-live-plus messenger be! Maybe AOL can join the merge too (oh god)

What's in a name, anyway? (1)

SubliminalVortex (942332) | more than 8 years ago | (#15596483)

Ok, here we have Microsoft, Yahoo and Google. All three are well known for their contributions to the 'computing' and internet world.

Google: Search Engine, Applications.
Yahoo: Social Networking, Advertising.
Microsoft: Operating Systems, Applications.

Each of them, with Microsoft having probably the largest 'geek' database on the planet, is trying to encroach on the realm of another. The first letters of each of their names makes the acronym "GYM", which reminds me of the time sweaty jocks were fighting over who was going to humiliate the cornered 'nerd' first.

Well, they have data, they have also examined it (most likely in many different facets)... and patterns do actually tend to make things easier for people who want to make the most money off the 'herd'. The interesting thing is that those big three have enough data from the populace to ensure that our children will already have bought into what they're planning to market (whether it is vaporware or not).

Will there be an advantage if Microsoft purchases Yahoo!? Sure, but I don't think that will actually affect those using search engines. Google is ahead of the game and they 'started' with the best marketing tactic in the computer world. Actually having a useable product. Yes, nowadays they do have beta applications, but that's expected. I do, however, like the idea of presenting a working product to the world (even if incomplete) as opposed to selling a bunch of 'ideas' and powerpoint presentations.

I tend to think that Google would be unaffected.
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