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Microsoft Looks To Refuel Talks With Yahoo

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the if-you-can't-beat-em-buy-em dept.

Microsoft 188

froggero1 writes "The New York Post is reporting that Microsoft wants to rekindle the takeover talks with Yahoo. According to the article, Yahoo! has repeatability turned away their offers, but Microsoft hopes that a lucrative 50 billion dollar offer will bring them back to the table. This move would increase Microsoft's web search market share to roughly 38%."

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holy crap (1, Redundant)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987507)

$50,000,000,000 seems like a lot for yahoo

Re:holy crap (1)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987537)

What makes you say that? Look at all the traffic Yahoo and it's sub-sites get.

Re:holy crap (0, Flamebait)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987759)

What makes you say that? Look at all the traffic Yahoo and it's sub-sites get.

If all that traffic was generating sufficient revenue and not trending strongly down post-Google then Yahoo wouldn't be for sale.

Re:holy crap (2, Interesting)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987785)

Yahoo isn't for sale. Microsoft wants Yahoo and is waving huge dump trucks full of money around in front of Yahoo HQ.

And I don't think most of Yahoo's sites have been trending downwards, the exception being their search engine, of course.

Re:holy crap (3, Informative)

mknewman (557587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988341)

Market cap for YHOO is 44.99 billion, so $50b is in line, 10% or so premium.

Re:holy crap (4, Informative)

cyclopropene (777291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18989395)

Market cap for YHOO is 44.99 billion, so $50b is in line, 10% or so premium.
That's the market cap after news of the potential takeover made it out and the share price rose ~18%. The market cap yesterday was ~38 billion.

Re:holy crap (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988675)

In fairness, every publicly traded company is for sale. It's just a matter of finding a price/offer the shareholders can't pass up.

Re:holy crap (1)

Wolfrider (856) | more than 7 years ago | (#18989673)

I really hope Yahoo doesn't cave, it would suck to have to change the email I've been using for the last 10 years. :(

Re:holy crap (1)

KKlaus (1012919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987883)

Starts to make Google's Doubleclick purchase look like a steal eh?

Balmer hears a hoo (3, Funny)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987909)

$50,000,000,000 seems like a lot for yahoo

You're reading it with the wrong accent

"fifty Beeeeeeellion dollars"

Re:holy crap (2, Informative)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988285)

Wonder how much additional it'll cost to convert Yahoo's BSD servers to Windows. Remember how long (and how many failed attempts) there were to convert HotMail from Solaris?

Which will ruin it and waste the first 50 billion. (5, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988527)

Wonder how much additional it'll cost to convert Yahoo's BSD servers to Windows. Remember how long (and how many failed attempts) there were to convert HotMail from Solaris?

If they do that, their share will drop from 38% to whatever they have now. Just look at what they have done to Amazon's search - my wife says it's unusable and quit going there. If they convert Yahoo over to their stuff like they did Yahoo, there will be no difference between Yahoo and their own search and their share will fall back to what it is today and then further. You would think that Google eating Hotmail's lunch would have taught them a lesson. The data they get would also soon lose it's value if they can't figure out how to use it.

Re:holy crap (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988727)

Remember how long (and how many failed attempts) there were to convert HotMail from Solaris?
No, because HotMail was also run on FreeBSD, not Solaris. Microsoft, at least, not have some experience switching from FreeBSD to Windows.

If this purchase goes ahead, it would be a shame for FreeBSD, since Yahoo employs half a dozen people to work on FreeBSD full time, who might well no longer exist after a Microsoft buy-out.

Re:holy crap (1)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 7 years ago | (#18989311)

Well, according to this [lege.com] the web end was FreeBSD and the backend (mail servers) was Solaris, so we were both right.

Re:holy crap (0)

fellip_nectar (777092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988383)

Especially if you use the British interpretation of 'billion'. $50,000,000,000,000

Re:holy crap (2, Informative)

badasscat (563442) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988539)

$50,000,000,000 seems like a lot for yahoo

It's not a lot for Yahoo, but it's a lot for Microsoft. Yes, even Microsoft.

Despite their huge revenue and profits, Microsoft currently "only" has $25 billion [yahoo.com] in the bank. So they couldn't do a straight purchase of Yahoo, they'd have to do a stock swap and maybe some borrowing, which would be a merger rather than a takeover. (In fact, that's how I'm seeing it described in other news reports.) It wouldn't be MS swallowing up Yahoo and dictating who stays and who goes. It would be some of Yahoo and some of MS mixed together.

I can't see that this is what MS would want. This is not how they do business. They're not going to let some Yahoo schlub come in and take over Steve Ballmer's job, and they're not going to want a situation where Yahoo's Hotjobs division is suddenly leading the development of MS Office. But these are the kinds of weird things that happen in mergers.

I think it's more likely that they'll try to do some sort of exclusive search deal with them, where Yahoo searches are done through Windows Live. This would still be a huge deal because Yahoo's invested a lot in their search tech over the past few years (as has MS). So you're probably still talking a multi-billion dollar deal here. But it's one way the two companies could join forces against Google without an outright merger.

Re:holy crap (1)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 7 years ago | (#18989087)

It's possible that Microsoft could borrow the money. They easily have the resources, and given then high gross revenue (and profit, for that matter) some of the larger financial instruments might have interest in loaning them the money.

It wouldn't be a bad deal to ride (as a bank) on Microsoft's back.

Re:holy crap (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18989663)

Microsoft's market capitalisation is $291.69B (according to Google). If they spent their cash reserves, they would have to raise another $25bn, which is around 8.6% of their market capitalisation. It doesn't seem unreasonable that they could borrow this much. The resulting company would, at a rough approximation, be valued at around $335bn, so would have a debt of about 7.5% of its total value, which is not particularly high.

Of couse (5, Insightful)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987515)

Because if you try at something several times and fail every time, just buy a successful one.

Not so sure they're buying (1)

cyberianpan (975767) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987985)

It's widely reported [searchengineland.com] that Wall Street Journal are also claiming an exclusive:

In what appear to be early-stage discussions, executives at Microsoft and Yahoo are taking a fresh look at a merger of the two companies or some kind of match-up that would pair their companies' respective strengths, say people familiar with the situation.
Maybe things really are changing in the Ozzie era - msft mightn't want to swallow & assimilate - maybe they do want a partnership ?
Fact is anyway for starters the Yahoo brand is a strong valuable asset, I don't see it been squashed. Also Yahoo is probably the second most successful internet company out there, msft is pretty poor to date given its opportunities, they'd be dumb to just take over & dictate.

Re:Of couse (5, Insightful)

vought (160908) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988077)

Microhoo.

Yahsoft.

I fail to see how this creates anything but more headaches and "me-too" problems for Microsoft - but it does confirm for me (if not Netcraft!) that Microsoft has a serious problem when it comes to creating new ideas and following through on them.

I used to joke about Microsoft buying all of it's new ideas - but this is a rather bigger problem. Once they buy Yahoo, do they transition it into a new form of MSN, thereby killing everything that was cool about Yahoo? Or do they un-MSN the current Microsoft web properties?

The problem Microsoft has is that when it comes to finding information and using the web to share information, Google has the most useful tools for the largest number of people. Buying a languishing Yahoo won't magically make Microsoft popular.

Biggest doesn't win here - subjectively best does.

What do you think? (3, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988689)

Once they buy Yahoo, do they transition it into a new form of MSN, thereby killing everything that was cool about Yahoo? Or do they un-MSN the current Microsoft web properties?

Hotmail!

Amazon Search!

Zune!

They keep taking and ruining winners, delivering to the public exactly what no one wants. Hotmail was cool, then M$ bought it and spent a fortune converting it to M$ software, loading it with adds and making it suck. Google mail kicked their ass. Amazon used to have a good search, then along came M$. There's nothing wrong with the electronics factories that make iPod and all the rest of the wold's music players, but Zune is a squirting loser. Is a picture emerging here?

Re:Of couse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18989121)

"Biggest doesn't win here - subjectively best does."

Many of the folks I see seem to act as if "first" or "largest" are the signs of a "winner"..., perhaps,... because....

Also, I very much like (and agree with) the word "subjectively." Sometimes (often?), we assume that what is "most familiar" is "simpler."

Learning is (sometimes) about discovering new paths within ourselves,... and, then, gently projecting them outside.

Finally, MS has been an amazingly successful lone hunter corporation. Is business necessarily cannibalistic?

Too easy? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18987519)

Surely such a move would be too easy for companies like Google and Ask.com to block via. anti-trust laws? Neither Microsoft nor Yahoo! can really be expecting Google to sit by and say "Oh, that's nice." to such a move, do they?

Re:Too easy? (5, Funny)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987587)

You would hope Google would have something to say. If Google doesn't quit counting their money and building Ferris wheels and bumper cars in employee break rooms someone is going to catch up and take them down a peg or two.

Re:Too easy? (1)

darkuncle (4925) | more than 7 years ago | (#18989665)

hee ... that's the most I've laughed at a /. post in recent memory. Excellent choice of words, sir. :)

Re:Too easy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18989255)

If I were Google, I would be happy to see this deal go through. A merger of such a magnitude is very likely to result in failure. Can you imagine the amount of work needed to just get things working together between these teams? The culture, the priorities, their bosses, everything changing overnight is hard to digest. Most mergers fail. The ones that go well are generally 'focused' : The acquiring company wants one of the following a. customers or b. technology. A merger which tries to merge many things at once does not go well at all. A lot of talent from both microsoft and yahoo will leave - and go where? You bet - google - they are hiring like crazy. Putting two brilliant teams together doesn't always work there has to be a culture fit.
 

Yahoo should talk to my girlfriend (-1, Offtopic)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987525)

She likes repeatability but I am usually shattered after one or two orgasms.

Re:Yahoo should talk to my girlfriend (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987647)

*sigh* I really wish people would stop referring to their hands as girlfriends. I'm quite sure its not a very mentally healthy thing to be doing so on teh innernets.

Re:Yahoo should talk to my girlfriend (1)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987923)

*sigh* I really wish people would stop referring to the Internet as "teh innernets" so I could spend less time typing and get back to fondling my hand, err girlfriend. Wait, uhm?

Indeed... (4, Funny)

locokamil (850008) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987539)

... I repeatability wonder why the grammar is so poor in Slashdot articles.

Not just grammar (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18987643)

Facts are also in question. Where does it say MS is offering $50 billion?

From the FA:

The new approach follows an offer Microsoft made to acquire Yahoo! a few months ago, sources said. But Yahoo! spurned the advances of the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant. Wall Street sources put a roughly $50 billion price tag on Yahoo!.

Re:Not just grammar (2, Informative)

Fastball (91927) | more than 7 years ago | (#18989169)

The article may not say MSFT is offering $50 billion, but the Associated Press article notes that the offer could be worth $50 billion. So an exact offer has not been announced, but Yahoo's [yahoo.com] market cap is about $45 billion, so a $50 billion offer would sound about right.

Re:Indeed... (1)

32Na (894547) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988951)

Perhaps they need an accountabillibuddy to check things for them!

Re:Indeed... (1)

locokamil (850008) | more than 7 years ago | (#18989247)

Accountibilibuddies are unreliable though... they often seem to shoot themselves for no reason at all.

In other news (2, Funny)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987541)

The NY Post says that John Kerry will pick Dick Gephart as his running mate.

So which is it, 27 or 38 percent? (3, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987577)

According to the article:

As it stands now, a deal between Microsoft and Yahoo! would up the combined companies' share of the all-important search advertising market to 27 percent against Google's 65 percent.

I figure that it would be around 30% either way and falling.

Increase share? (5, Insightful)

djones101 (1021277) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987589)

You assume that people will stick with Yahoo! after M$ takes it over.

Re:Increase share? (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987677)

If they pay $50 million then you will have to drop the M$ and use something like Yah!

Re:Increase share? (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987721)

Bah! delete my replacement of o in Yahoo! with euro signs why dont you.

Re:Increase share? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18987843)

CmdrTaco hasn't got the hang of that tricky "Unicode" thing. Any byte with the high bit set must be some evil plot to hack Slashcode.

Re:Increase share? (2, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988085)

¥ahoo would work a lot better. Lets just hope slashdot doesn't remove the Yen sign.

Re:Increase share? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18987709)

"You assume that people will stick with Yahoo! after M$ takes it over."

Sure they will, people reasoning like you are rare and few on the whole, but I know, you can get a different perspective if you spend most of your time here on slashdot.

Re:Increase share? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18987747)

Well,
I do use Yahoo for email, but may drop that if they are bought out by M$.
So the GP is not alone in his/her thinking.

Re:Increase share? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18988125)

Right, that makes two of you basement dwellers.

Re:Increase share? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18988929)

Don't forget yourself!

I would drop them. (1)

n2art2 (945661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988589)

I use them for email, and most all my searches, and well. . . I would drop them too.. . . then again not sure where I would go, really, cause well. . . Google is the next Microsoft. Hard to pick a lesser evil in that debate.

Re:Increase share? (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988825)

I know. With googles take over of doubleclick, i was wondering if I should move back to yahoo. If MS takes over yahoo, should we be looking to see what altavista is up to?

Re:Increase share? (0, Flamebait)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 7 years ago | (#18989607)

I've already sent a letter to Yahoo support stating if this happens I am closing all of my accounts and switching entirely to Google as my new portal. I created a Hotmail account about 2 months before Microsoft announced they were purchasing it. When I found out I contacted Hotmail and insisted they close my account before the turnover and they said they couldn't do that because they didn't have the ability to delete accounts. I switched to Yahoo because at the time I was changing ISPs pretty regularly and getting tired of sending out change of email address emails. Unlike many of the comments I see here I rarely have any problems with Yahoo. I would hate to lose Yahoo as a viable choice. Remember, even "do no evil" Google without a good alternative choice could start to stagnate without competition.

Bang goes MSFT's cash reserve (2, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987649)

OK, so presumably a large chunk of the $50bn will be in paper, not cash, but this is a good answer to those who say that Microsoft's $50bn in cash guarantees that they will be around for a long time.

A handful of deals like this, and the money will be gone. Then it's back to actually doing good business, something Microsoft seems awfully bad at these last years.

If Microsoft do buy Yahoo, it screams "duopoly", but in the long term they will ruin Yahoo's business, and leave the market entirely to Google.

Re:Bang goes MSFT's cash reserve (4, Insightful)

Steepe (114037) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987823)

Leaving ANY market entirely to ANYONE is a bad thing. Google notwithstanding.

I use google, they are my homepage, I pretty much do ALL of my searches on google, but do I want them to destroy Yahoo and be the only major player in the market? NOPE!

"Don't be evil" goes out the window quickly when you have all the power.

If there is no one to compete against, then there is no reason for innovation. They spend that energy they would have spent on search would move elsewhere to try to become Google$

Re:Bang goes MSFT's cash reserve (2, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987963)

A handful of deals like this, and the money will be gone.
Actually I would have though Google would be much more vulnerable to this sort of scenario. They dont have the reserves or historical revenue MS has so if a few deals go south, the big share price takes a hit and suddenly the bank manager has more reservations, requirements and fees when they want to fund their next acquisition. Fortunately their revenue is increasing quite rapidly so they should be able to build up reserves over the next couple of years (assuming they do have some sort of plan to generate actual revenue out of deals like DoubleClick).

Re:Bang goes MSFT's cash reserve (1)

FMota91 (1050752) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987973)

Chairs are being thrown out the Windows. News at 11.

Re:Bang goes MSFT's cash reserve (1)

achillean (1031500) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987983)

Don't kid yourself, while Microsoft doesn't have much buzz going for its products at this moment, it still makes gobs of money. (Microsofts Annual Report [wilink.com] ) While you might not approve of how they're doing business, they're still faring very well and won't run out of cash anytime soon.

Given Yahoo!'s reluctance in the past to enter a deal w/ Microsoft, I also wouldn't be too worried that Microsoft will significantly change the way Yahoo! operates. Of course all of this is pure speculation, but I would presume that as with most major mergers, Yahoo! would remain an independent entity. The last thing they want to do is combine both services and potentially alienate existing customers. They wouldn't focus on bridging existing services, but rather enable future products to work together better.

It's clear that Microsoft is falling behind in the internet race, and I would welcome a merger between Yahoo! and Microsoft if not only to offer some better competition for Google.

Re:Bang goes MSFT's cash reserve (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988281)

Your analysis is simply bad. Microsoft doesn't just have cash reserves, they have ridiculous income. They pull in about $36 billion a year, spend about $20 billion of that operating the company, pay about $5 billion in taxes, and have about $12 billion left to find something to do with. So if you assume that they pay $50 billion and *lose it all*, it would take them 4 or 5 years to make up for it.

The root of your bad analysis is that you think they don't do good business. You might not like their software and may have a bad opinion of their practices, but as a business, they are, still, simply put, stellar.

Too much? (5, Insightful)

kiracatgirl (791797) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987665)

Maybe if Microsoft didn't keep trying to dominate every market they see someone else being successful at, they'd be able to do better in the ones that they've been successful at. Such as, I don't know, operating systems? Everything I've heard about Vista is bad; if MS had been focusing on making Vista better (and maybe on time) instead of trying to match everyone else it wouldn't have been such a, well, failure. The attempts to get into said other markets haven't really been a success, either. (Zune, anyone?)

Microsoft needs to let Yahoo alone and realize that it's not possible to do everything.

Re:Too much? (2, Informative)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987829)

"Everything I've heard about Vista is bad"

Well duh, look at what website you are visiting. Thats like saying everything you heard about the United States on Al-Jazeera is bad so obviously they deserve to be blown up. Why dont you use it and try to develop your own opinions objectively rather than believing everything you read on an enourmously biased website? There are certainly good and bad elements to Vista, but if you are going to flame them it should at least be based on something better than reading a bunch of negative stuff on slashdot.

Re:Too much? (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988245)

"Everything I've heard about Vista is bad" Well duh, look at what website you are visiting
The GP said "everything I've heard about Vista", not "Everything I've heard on Slashdot about Vista"

I can say that everything I have heard about Vista, from a wide variety of sources including Windows users, is bad.

That is like saying everything you heard about the United States on Al-Jazeera is bad so obviously they deserve to be blown up
You have never read Al-Jazeera, have you? From what I have seen on their English language site, its no more anti-American than world opinion.

Re:Too much? (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988297)

"Why dont you use it and try to develop your own opinions objectively rather than believing everything you read on an enourmously biased website?"

Because he doesn't really have $300+ lying around to buy a new OS he apparently isn't too interested in using? Because installing a brand new OS just because you can serves no real purpose? Because he might read sites other than Slashdot? Because personal, objective opinions are both virtually impossible to have and very frequently of no use? I could keep going with reasons that your suggestion serves no purpose other than to say he should be a good Microsoft customer just for the hell of it, but those seemed to sum it up pretty well.

Re:Too much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18988711)

Your comment about Al-Jazeera makes you look like a narrow-minded idiot. Or, as the rest of the world would say : a typical american.
Why don't you switch off Fox news for a while, and start looking around to what's really happening in the world.

Re:Too much? (2, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988025)

Everything I've heard about Vista is bad;


Well here are a few good things about it:

    -- Media Center is INCREDIBLE and unlike Myth, it works out of the box
    -- Recording audio is SIMPLE, whereas in Linux, it can be a PITA with some audio chipsets
    -- Hardware support for bleeding-edge hardware (and new-but-not-quite-bleeding-edge-any-more) is fairly good, unlike Linux
    -- the new GUI sure is pretty (but on the other hand, Beryl on Linux is FANTASTIC. KDE + Beryl + Vista-like skin is orgasmic. Beryl provides everything in Linux that Microsoft promised for the Windows GUI but dropped the ball on)

And, well, that's about it. Why DON'T I run Vista, and why do I choose Linux?

  -- Freedom. I do what I want, when I want, with any media I purchase (mainly DVDs, transcoding them for viewing on my PocketPC or remotely from work)
  -- Freedom. Microsoft cannot illegally revoke my right of first sale on Linux due to too many hardware upgrades, or at whim.
  -- Explorer SUCKS. Give me konqueror's tabbed file browsing and KDE's KIO slaves. fish:// makes working on remote boxes a breeze.
  -- cmd.exe SUCKS (and so does SFU and monad/powershell is better but not great). bash rocks.
  -- *nix is inherently secure, and not an easily-bypassed [cancel] [allow] hack.

All Microsoft needs to do to win me back as a customer is:

  -- Quit treating paying customers as criminals, especially since it does not stop "pirates" at ALL (read: eliminate activation)
  -- Make it EASY to install an alternate desktop such as KDE, replacing the crappy Explorer
  -- Ease up on the DRM, especially since EVERY Windows alternative, including OS X, are becoming increasingly lax in that regard. DRM should protect the customer's assets from vandals, not block customers from using their own legally-purchased belongings as they see fit.

Re:Too much? (1)

dc29A (636871) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988469)

-- Make it EASY to install an alternate desktop such as KDE, replacing the crappy Explorer

As a longtime and now ex LiteStep [wikipedia.org] user, you can replace the Explorer shell very easy. If I recall correctly, it takes about 2 very simple registry key changes (just tell windows what shell to load in the HKLM hive and fire up explorer in separate process). Been a long time since I used LiteStep, so I could have missed a few things.

To get a popular alternative desktop running on Windows, it needs to stop mimicking Explorer. Stardock's stuff is nice, but it's eye candy on the same old way of using the desktop. KDE is in the same boat, it tries to imitate Explorer too much (yes it has tons of useful features that Explorer lacks).

Maybe desktop designers need to revisit the ideas of task bar, system tray, desktop icons and whatnot and try to come up with something different. Until then, all desktops do pretty much the same thing with one having better eye candy than other and one having a few extra features that the other lacks.

Re:Too much? (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 7 years ago | (#18989017)

Agreed.... the only times I ever use KDE are when I'm trying to get somebody who's new to Linux to come to the dark side. :) It's way too windows-like, and while it does have some nice functionality over and above Explorer, whatever happened to keeping things lightweight and zippy? Give me XFCE 4 any day... it's not as light as, say, blackbox, but it's also nowhere near as fugly. I think it strikes a good balance between eye candy and functionality, and is something that MS has never been able to do.

Re:Too much? (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#18989189)

I used to like Gnome, but quickly got sick of gconf, having to recompile to make configuration changes to the GUI, and Nautilus is a clone of Windows' file explorer.

KDE is NOTHING like Windows. If anything, Gnome is closer to Windows' usability paradigm than KDE is. KDE is far more flexible, and allows for more productivity. When I have to work in Windows I feel crippled because of the lack of tabbed browsing, having to use filezilla or winscp to download files THEN do what I need to do an upload them. It is less flexible, plus having to open multiple instances of explorer clutters the desktop. Nautilus is similar in that regard.

Re:Too much? (1)

allscan (1030606) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988105)

Lets not forget that one of the major rules of business--and investing for that matter--is to diversify. Suppose I own a hardware company that makes disc drives, and our entire line is built around 5.25 inch drives, that would be stupid. In that case we need to go into other aspects of hardware, 3.5 inch drives or thumb drives, etc. Microsoft is a software company, and search engines are software.

Re:Too much? (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988243)

Microsoft is not one person. They can do a whole lot of unrelated things, and if they get the right people they could be the best at them all. The only thing stopping a company from doing a whole lot of things at once is money, and Microsoft has no shortage of that.

Re:Too much? (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990305)

So, given that, why are all of their products weak sauce? They might be popular, but they're sure not very good...

Re:Too much? (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988637)

Microsoft needs to let Yahoo alone and realize that it's not possible to do everything.


It is if you're General Electric or Proctor and Gamble. Almost everything you buy or use is stamped with GE or PG on it.

Re:Too much? (1)

rfunches (800928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18989463)

It is if you're General Electric or Proctor and Gamble.

GE is trying to sell its plastics unit, IIRC, and the company has a history of selling off underperforming units rather than preserving the kitchen sink. Yes, it is possible for a company to do everything, but clearly it is not profitable to do so.

If Yahoo! is 38% of the market (2, Interesting)

jmagar.com (67146) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987741)

if 38% = $50B

then 100% = $132B

So why does Google [yahoo.com] have a market cap of $146 billion? That's more than 100% of the market value. Some numbers must be wrong here... likely Microsoft's offer is too shallow. Or is Google over valued?

Re:If Yahoo! is 38% of the market (1)

Metaldsa (162825) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987833)

Google is growing at a faster rate. Also they have better execution. That is the reason for the premium to Yahoo.

Re:If Yahoo! is 38% of the market (4, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987847)

if 38% = $50B

This is an incorrect assumption in several ways. First Yahoo has 28% of Web searching, not 38%. The 38% number was for Yahoo and MS's combined share. The other way it is incorrect is the assumption that all Yahoo or Google or MS does is search, which is of course not true. The value of $50B was for the company, not for their Web search service.

Re:If Yahoo! is 38% of the market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18987871)

38% of the search market.

Maybe Google isn't only in the search market.

Re:If Yahoo! is 38% of the market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18987891)

Neither. Yahoo! is massively undervalued for what it is. And Google is the other way round.

of course google is overvalued... (2, Informative)

slew (2918) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987897)

As are most "brands" are overvalued relative to their market share...

However, value is not generally directly proportional to market share. There's lots of value associated with growth potential and being number 1 in a market...

Then again, there's always a limit to how many tulips [wikipedia.org] people want...

Re:of course google is overvalued... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988363)

I saw a rather believable analysis that suggested Google has ~1% of the global advertising market and that they are well positioned to take that to ~4%. That's a lot o' tulips on your organ.

WTH? Nasdaq says 107B (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988151)

So why does Google [yahoo.com] have a market cap of $146 billion?

Do they have more fat billions on Nasdaq [nasdaq.com] ? Am I missing something?

That would be great... (4, Insightful)

agentultra (1090039) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987743)

... cause then Microsloth would be one step closer to wiping out web standards and all the good work Yahoo! has put into the web development community.

Buy your way to the top!

No greater an illusion.

Like buying your search ranking or myspace friends.

Re:That would be great... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18988553)

You don't know much history, do you? That's the Microsoft way to do innovations, buy them.

The funny thing is if they do it, people will leave yahoo. Regardless whether they'd rebrand it or not. Mark my words.

Hmmmmm... (1)

jwisser (1038696) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987749)

Is anyone else vaguely and unpleasantly reminded of the words "vertical monopoly?" I mean, yeah, there's Google, but just the idea of Microsoft actually having a significant market share (and 27% of the search market is significant) in another market really bothers me.

If at first you don't succeed (2, Funny)

Virtex (2914) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987751)

If at first you don't succeed, try try to buy out your closest competitor.

Yahoo! Must Be Proud (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18987753)

This is big news, Ballmer has only two categories for companies in the same business as Microsoft:
  1. "Fucking kill." (default)
  2. Fucking exploit.
Going from the former to the latter category is quite the feat! Yahoo! must be proud.

Well- Yahoo would have to talk (3, Insightful)

hrieke (126185) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987841)

Any serious offer on the table and the parties need to sit down and have a chat. to do otherwise would be ignoring your duties.

On one side I don't see this being more than a chat to work out a deal- to buy Yahoo would cost MS all of their cash reserves, and then there is the little problem of moving their technology base from *unix to Windows would be a multiyear screw up, er, project (how long did it take MS to move Hotmail over to Windows?).

On the other side- MS does need to move against Google in some meaningful manner- Google's judo flip and really put MS off balance in a way that will play out for years to come- and I doubt MS shareholders are happy with the flat stock price for the last 7 years.

I suggest a large bowl of popcorn while we wait this one out, with extra butter.

Re:Well- Yahoo would have to talk (1)

mstahl (701501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18989051)

the little problem of moving their technology base from *unix to Windows

I know this is going to sound really naïve of me, but would it *really* be necessary for them to move it all onto Windows? After the debacle with Hotmail they might decide not to.

I'm totally not disagreeing with you that it will be f*ckin' hilarious to witness though.

Re:Well- Yahoo would have to talk (2, Interesting)

hrieke (126185) | more than 7 years ago | (#18989903)

It's called Eating Your Own Dog Food.
Think of the business argument like this- Why should I buy Windows to run my business if Microsoft doesn't run Windows to run their's?

A long time ago, MS ran their accounting department on AS/400s as the story goes, and other F500 companies where pointing this fact to the MS sales people. MS then, again as the story goes, tried to move everything over to a Windows based system, and failed. Failed horribly, and to the point where MS had to make a tough choice- run AS/400 systems and run the company or not and not get payroll and bills out on time. What did they do? Created a company to run the accounting department systems, moved everyone over to that new company, and then to the outside world it appeared that MS was indeed eating their own dog food.

this should not be allowed (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18987881)

This is the company that used all sorts of illegal techniques to crush competition in the desktop OS, browser, and media player markets. Microsoft's CEO likes to use the phrase "integrated innovation" to tout the advantages of their offerings vis a vis the competition. In other words, they don't play well with anyone else.

Now they want to use a portion of their accumulated monopoly profits to acquire a company that has huge on-line communities and brand names. Anyone who's paid attention over the last 15-20 years knows what will come next: "best" access will soon be restricted to those who use Microsoft's operating system, browser, media players, and development tools. Eventually those using other browsers and operating systems may be shut out altogether. The average person buys Windows preinstalled on their Dell or Gateway won't care, but they don't see how innovation is being shut down the same way innovation in the PC desktop software market fell dramatically after Microsoft established its hegemony with Windows 95.

Microsoft has all the money and resources in the world. Let's see them build their own online communities, really innovate instead of talking about innovation.

Heh (4, Insightful)

aftk2 (556992) | more than 7 years ago | (#18987989)

This seems like a profoundly bad idea for all concerned. I like Yahoo. I don't use them for search, but they seem, at least marginally, to "get it": they've purchased a number of promising web startups like Flickr and Upcoming, and seem to mostly let them do their own thing (contrasted with that other web company [gigaom.com] ). They allow their developers to be pretty transparent. They've created the Yahoo User Interface Library (which is quite helpful), etc...

If Microsoft were running the show, I'm worried that would change. Plus, I think there would be other problems. For Microsoft, what would be the easiest and quickest way for them to completely demoralize the employees who work in their Internet divisions? Buy Yahoo. For Yahoo, what would be the easiest and quickest way to confuse and worry their employees? Sell to Microsoft (although many might not be that confused while they're swimming in their huge piles of money.)

Finally, I'm concerned about Yahoo's services, were Microsoft to purchase them. It sounds like Microsoft has a large number of middle managers and policy makers who like nothing more than to assert their authority with arbitrary decisions. Yahoo seems to value a fair amount of development and language agnosticism (with sites written in PHP, custom languages, etc...) What happens to these sites when Microsoft comes in? "I'm sorry - we're rebuilding that in .NET now."

I don't know - my responses aren't typically those of the knee-jerk Slashdot mentality, but this makes me even me wince.

Misleading Summary (1)

DTemp (1086779) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988017)

Microsoft is NOT offering $50B and probably never will. The $50B figure is the Wall Street Journal's estimate on how much Yahoo is worth.

indeed this says a lot (3, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988033)

Wow, they must really be worried at Microsoft.

This is no less then an admission that their own search and online advertising strategy has failed completelly. They may disagree, but coin like that being offered for yahoo speaks volumes.

MSN was, at first inception, meant to be *the* portal to the internet. That failed so fast most people don't even know it. The new Microsoft search site? Know anyone that uses it? cos I don't, and I know a lot of computer users, ranging from expert to pebmak's. Not one Microsoft web strategy has succeeded. Ok, ok, people use Hotmail, and people use msn messenger. Alas that's not much of a money maker for Microsoft, not without the original ill conceived all encompassing Microsoft Network.

So, they now know that without buying out another major search company they can't compete in search or net advertising. The problem there is that they have no assurance that the purchase will help them at all?

First, they can't drop the Yahoo! name, or people simply won't use the product. Secondly, adding it to their monolithic corporation will most likely result in innovation at yahoo (is there any? I'm out of touch) will also slow to a crawl.

Microsoft have been good at (well, successful at) operating systems and office software. Their mistake is believing that the same strategy can be extended to maintain a dominant position in other fields that didn't even exist when they first became dominant.

Most likely outcome of a purchase? Five years down the line it is spun off as a separate business again, related to Microsoft by shares only.

FYI: MS bought Hotmail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18988743)

nt

Re:indeed this says a lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18988999)

what is a pebmak?

unix/windows (4, Insightful)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988111)

A friend who used to work for Prodigy once told me that they had a peek at the MSN infrastructure and they discovered that in the mega-portal space, Windows requires twice as much hardware per unit of load as Unix systems. Yahoo is of course built around Unix. Are they really going to try to move that whole infrastructure over? Look at how long it took them to convert Hotmail.

Lucky folks at RightMedia (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988149)

Bought by Yahoo [blogs.com] , and now further by Microsoft... break out the new business cards....

Yahoo is Ready! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18988165)

Microsoft must have noticed how Yahoo crapped up the usability of tv.yahoo.com recently, totally ignoring the feedback from their users, and seen it as a signal that Yahoo is ready to be part of Microsoft.

To Yahoo: Please, PLEASE, for the love of God, give users the ability to chart "adjusted price" or "growth of $10,000" for mutual funds. Graphing fund prices, which often plummet by around 10% in December due to distribution of dividends and capital gains (no economic significance -- the fund company is just sending some of your money back to you) is useless. A high school student could recognize this problem, why can't you?

Well... (1)

keko_metal (1010011) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988175)

50 billion ought to be enough for anybody

More than one reason for Yahoo to say yes... (1)

dclozier (1002772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988263)

Right now MySpace is beta testing their own instant messenger. What is next? Email @ MySpace? I think Yahoo will find their services being made less and less relevant by MySpace.

That's a scary thought (2, Interesting)

Mordaximus (566304) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988421)

Here in Ontario, at least in the national capital region, there are two major internet players, Rogers and Bell Canada(Sympatico). Rogers and Yahoo! are in bed together, MSN and Sympatico likewise. It would be interesting to see how things play out if the deal does go through.

So, let me do the math... (1)

Cheezymadman (1083175) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988847)

What is that, like $.20 for every spam email sent from a yahoo account?

Repeatability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18989905)

"Yahoo! has repeatability turned away their offers..."

At least they're using a good scientific method.

Previous Yahoo merger talks (5, Funny)

frank249 (100528) | more than 7 years ago | (#18989933)

This reminds me of when Netscape and Yahoo were in talks to merge. They were going to move the headquarters to Israel and call the new company Net'n'Yahoo.
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