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Google And Microsoft Cross Swords Over Yahoo!

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the just-a-tiny-bit-biased dept.

Google 181

watzinaneihm writes "In a blog post Google has called Yahoo/Microsoft merger bad for the future of the internet. It is worried about the number of email and IM accounts this merged entity would control. Microsoft has countered with the argument that Google is actually the big bully in this instance, with most of the search market already tied up. The New York Times, in the meantime, has accused Google of a Microsoft fixation."

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181 comments

Microsoft fixation? (3, Interesting)

Loibisch (964797) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289794)

The New York Times, in the meantime, has accused Google of a Microsoft fixation.
It's more like Ballmer has a Google fixation. Microsoft really can't stand being second to anybody in any field...

Re:Microsoft fixation? (3, Insightful)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289814)

Not really sure it would be a fixation, maybe a kind of envy complex... When you see something and wonder why you don't have it too you develop a complex of envy to obtain it in one way or another... Right Sigmund?

Re:Microsoft fixation? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22289848)

Google has mind share. When you compare the search engines they're all pretty much equally garbage.

Re:Microsoft fixation? (5, Insightful)

dhavleak (912889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290924)

Microsoft has a google fixation? Or envy complex??

MS woke up late to the internet. Once they woke up, their attempts at gaining a foothold were more or less unsuccessful. The offer on Yahoo is just them realizing that their web strategy needs a course correction pronto. They've built a good search engine (live.com) and ad-platform, but they can't monetize it right now because nobody goes there. Acquiring Yahoo is one of they ways to solve that problem. Yahoo has other assets that will tie in well with a software+services strategy.

It's really that simple. MS realizes that its business model is under threat, and it's making adjustments before the pain is felt rather than after. No fixation, no envy -- just business as usual.

Re:Microsoft fixation? (2, Interesting)

thedlw (1007823) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289822)

Amen to that. What would happen if linux replaced windows as the dominant desktop platform? Microsoft would start sueing anyone or go buy up ubuntu just to stamp microsoft on it.

Re:Microsoft fixation? (2, Insightful)

Loibisch (964797) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289868)

The day they're buying Ubuntu (and make a *nix based system part of their supported portfolio) would be the day that marks their end. Microsoft would be losing their most prized possession: their locked-in market.

Re:Microsoft fixation? (4, Informative)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289964)

The day they're buying Ubuntu (and make a *nix based system part of their supported portfolio) would be the day that marks their end.
They had one before. Ever heard of Xenix?

Re:Microsoft fixation? (1)

Loibisch (964797) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290004)

Ever heard of Xenix?
Nope, I had not till now. However this was a long time ago and they did not really have the market dominance they have today.
So this time, with reasonably mass-compatible alternative operating systems, it might actually lead to them losing their market once and for all.
It's all wishful thinking though since the day MS will start shipping a *nix Kernel as their next "Windows" will be the day either hell freezes over or Ballmer will stop acting like a 12 year old spoiled brat.

Re:Microsoft fixation? (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290628)

. However this was a long time ago and they did not really have the market dominance they have today.
You kids! Haven't you ever heard of MS-DOS [wikipedia.org] ? MS-DOS was the dominant operating system for PCs in the 1980s. Contrary to popular belief among people who are either too young to remember or were too computer illiterate in the 1980s to remember, Microsoft did not build its monopoly on Windows. The Microsoft juggernaut built its multi-billion dollar empire not on Windows, but on MS-DOS. Now you kids get off my lawn!

Re:Microsoft fixation? (5, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289832)

Maybe they just have nice people at Google who have noticed that Microsoft is ruining the world of computing and that we could do with competition and/or replacement in several areas.

Re:Microsoft fixation? (5, Funny)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290000)

Mods: what is funny about the parent comment?

Re:Microsoft fixation? (5, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290146)

I wondered that too. Even better is that you've been modded as funny. I reckon someone's riding the ganja train

Re:Microsoft fixation? (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290306)

A joke isn't funny any more if you have to explain why it's funny. Because it removes your moderation.

Re:Microsoft fixation? (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22291010)

It's funny because it presumes that Google is any less a greedy, sleazy corporation than MS. May I remind you that this is the same Google that scours its Chinese search engine of naughty terms like "democracy" just so it can make a few extra bucks?

The only "do no evil" that Google cares about is "do no evil to the stockholders and profits."

Re:Microsoft fixation? (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290156)

The New York Times, in the meantime, has accused Google of a Microsoft fixation.

Is that the Soviet Russia New York Times?

Re:Microsoft fixation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22291344)

Second, MS search engine (don't even remember the name that's how bad it is) is even getting bet up by Dogpile.
Don't think government regulators will let this go through.

In fear of getting utterly cut up... (2, Insightful)

AdamReyher (862525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289818)

...I'm actually going to have to side with Microsoft on this one. On rather, I'm going to side with no one. The idea that this would make Microsoft a bigger "monopoly" is unfounded because neither Microsoft nor Yahoo! has anywhere close to the highest marketshare of online searches or advertising. If we're so concerned about monopolies, competition in the field can only be a good thing. And at the rate it was going, unless something like this happened, no one would ever be able to stop Google.

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (1)

dattaway (3088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289866)

So if I understand you correctly, the way for a monopoly to be stopped is to have a competing monopoly buy its nearest competitor?

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (1)

PolarBearFire (1176791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289976)

No, the way to stop monopolies is to have as many competing monopolies as possible competing against each other in a non-monopoly way. Is monopoly the new "brick"?

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22290058)

So if I understand you correctly, the way for a monopoly to be stopped is to have a competing monopoly buy its nearest competitor?

Monopoly. As in one. This means there can only be one at a time. EVAR. Get some education, boi.

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22290438)

No, they could all be COMPUTING monopolies, but each in their own field. IE; Google has a monopoly on search engines, whilst MS has a monopoly on desktop OSs. Both can be correctly called "monopolies". Also, GP could have meant "competing monopoly" as "competing [to become the next] monopoly [; and is likely to succeed]".

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (1)

filbranden (1168407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290098)

the way for a monopoly to be stopped is to have a competing monopoly buy its nearest competitor?

The more companies sharing the market, the better for the market. The less companies, the worse.

Right now, with the three companies separate, we see quite some innovation, they're competing trying to bring better products to the market, which Google is certainly doing (see the way GMail brought something completely different from what was there), Yahoo also to some extent, and Microsoft is struggling trying to keep their OS lock-in, but bringing products to the market at the same time.

If Microsoft buys Yahoo, the most probable is that it won't keep the same size as before. Either it will grow and overcome Google (which I doubt), after what innovation stops because they're no longer #2, or they'll sink together (more probable to me), after what Google will be stronger than ever, will crunch its competition and won't have any reasons to improve.

It would be better if Microsoft learned that the way for them to improve is to start using standards instead of their own crippled technologies, and start creating online services that are accessible instead of a vehicle for locking in the customers to their crippled OS. Then it could get some market share and be more of a player in this market.

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (1)

blowdart (31458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290272)

Right now, with the three companies separate, we see quite some innovation,

Actually we don't. We see people playing catchup with each other's services (search being the obvious one, maps being another, where frankly Microsoft do it best). That's not innovation. The one hint at innovation comes from companies that one of the big 3 buy, blogger for example, or flickr. What has goggle done outside search and context sensitive advertising that's innovative? Even search wasn't innovative, it was just a honed approach improving on what went before. The same with gmail.

A bigger competitor might encourage google to pay nice, to be more open, to respect privacy more. For me, because it's what I do as a day job, I'll be interested to see how a large OpenID player will merge with Information Cards; that can't be a bad thing IMO.

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (4, Funny)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290524)

What has goggle done outside search and context sensitive advertising that's innovative?

The goggles, they do NOTHING!

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290702)

Actually, I've seen a lot of this kind of backwards reasoning. Just because one part market is not dominated by the monopolist of another industry, it's fair for the monopolist to step in and try to take over market share for said second industry? Wouldn't that give more power to the monopolist? The minute they stop looking at it from the corporate perspective and looking at it from the division perspective, they lose all rationale.

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (0)

tritonman (998572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289878)

Let Microsoft and Google play their game of thrones. In the end, it doesn't really matter who "controls" this search engine market, if they give users what they don't want, there will ALWAYS be another competitor to enter the market, just like google did before.

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (2, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289972)

I'm not so sure anyone has a fear of monopolies, as long as they do a decent job. The thing is that when someone/something lacks any competition they tend to lose their drive to better themselves, or maybe just don't realise how much potential they have to better themselves, and the direction to proceed in.

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 6 years ago | (#22291000)

Just as no one has a fear of living next to a murderer, until they start, you know, murdering people.

People fear Monopolies rightly. The Soviet Union was a monopoly. China used to be a monopoly, but is less so. People fear monopolies becuase if you don't like them, there is nothing you can do, you can't change who you use, because there is no one else.

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22291342)

I would call those more dictatorships. I am aware of the downsides of having only one option, but I was saying that as long as that option is good, then nobody will care. Humanity being what it is, then most likely things will go downhill unless that option is strictly regulated or faces competition. At least when it comes to a monopoly on a certain product, you can choose not to buy the product if you have that much of a problem with it - when it comes to your leaders having a monopoly, your only choice is stay or get the hell out.

Cows have cornered the dairy market pretty well, but I guess those goats are trying to edge in there as well, so at least there's a choice. I'm pretty happy with the cows though, they provide a good product :p

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (5, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289974)

Screw whether anyone has a monopoly in the search market; Google frankly deserve that monopoly (not exactly at Windows levels, though; only 75%) because they're THE BEST SEARCH ENGINE.

Now, if Google bought out Yahoo instead, that would be likely to lead a a lot of positive things:
- Some degree of maintenance of the Yahoo brand (MS would obliterate it)
- Promotion of backend opensource architecture (MS would enforce MS products)
- Less likelihood of services being charged for (MS would ruthlessly monetize all Yahoo services as much as possible)

Frankly, I just hate Microsoft's whole money-making diversity-killing business ethos, and you have to realise that a MS buyout of Yahoo would be a pretty terrible thing. :-(

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (2, Interesting)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290302)

Google frankly deserve that monopoly (not exactly at Windows levels, though; only 75%) because they're THE BEST SEARCH ENGINE.

Says jez9999. What if 75% of computer users said that Windows is the best OS? My guess is they might, if for no other reason that lack of trying other OSes. Does that make all of the MS monoploy talk invalid now? Or, does that at least mean that MS deserves their monopoly? Sounds like you think so.

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22291116)

Try reading the fucking post you're replying to, Aqualung812.

He clearly said "Google frankly deserve that monopoly" [referring to their search market].

He wasn't talking about Microsoft.

Next time you try and sound intelligent, actually switch your brain on first.

Have a nice day.

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22290658)

The same could be said if Google bought out Microsoft.

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (1)

theskipper (461997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289982)

The idea that this would make Microsoft a bigger "monopoly" is unfounded because neither Microsoft nor Yahoo! has anywhere close to the highest marketshare of online searches or advertising.

Well, ok, but isn't the true fear that they'll have the ammunition to slowly eat their way into another monopoly position?

Imagine in five years a world where Microsoft handles 60% of search traffic. The screws start turning from that point and there's no going back, just like Windows.

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (2, Insightful)

AdamReyher (862525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290044)

Imagine in five years a world where Microsoft handles 60% of search traffic. The screws start turning from that point and there's no going back, just like Windows.
How, exactly, is Microsoft having 60% of the search engine marketshare going to be a point of no return? Meanwhile, Google is sitting over there with the overwhelming majority, and 95% of all new PCs have Internet Explorer installed using MSN or Yahoo! as the default search engine, yet people still use Google. In order for Microsoft to get to that point of 60% marketshare, there's nothing they can buy out since it's as simple as typing another URL into the address bar. In order to get to that position, they will have had to have done something right (imagine that!) so that users are attracted to the services it provides.

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (1)

theskipper (461997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290878)

Agreed, if they didn't own the desktop monopoly. They'd be just another Yahoo. But they can control the address bar on their desktops in that Yahoo's mass would be truly redirected into IE/Windows this time, not just a toolbar or a dropdown for selecting Yahoo search that no one notices. There are lots of "innovative" ways to hook users beyond their past attempts like brain-dead proprietary logins.

Back to the point, if the purchase of Yahoo eventually results in some tipping point within search, how do you stop the ball rolling?

Based on the history of Google we know that search drives ad sales. That's the majority of Google's revenue. Microsoft's ad revenue is a mere blip within their overall sales. Windows, Office, etc. pay the bills and will for a long time to come.

What happens to Google if Microsoft gets just enough of a foothold in the search space to take significant ad revenue from Google? Isn't that what they're proposing to spend $44B to accomplish, to kneecap Google's ad revenue in the long run? It's not a matter of fighting over 10% of search traffic one way or the other, what's at stake is the domination of ad revs because of Google's reliance on it.

The point was that the balance is more delicate because of the Windows monopoly. Maybe, maybe not.

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (1)

ricebowl (999467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289994)

And at the rate it was going, unless something like this happened, no one would ever be able to stop Google.

Does Google need to be 'stopped'? Really? I thought the purpose of competition in the market was not to 'stop' a business but to spur innovation and development to the better-satisfaction of the consumer.

While, for online advertising, the consumer is not the customer (for Google at least the customers are the businesses purchasing ad-space), the consumer still has the power, through use or non-use, to effect a level of control over the search engines selling the ads.

Having read the featured article I can't help but feel that the language is somewhat inflammatory and provocative. Not quite the image that Google likes to usually present of itself.

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (2, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289998)

The problem isn't monopoly per se. The problem is the use of a monopoly in one area to leverage competitors out of a different one. It's hardly a victory for competition if Microsoft integrates Yahoo services with Windows and forces every OEM to bundle them.

If Microsoft was offering to spin off MSN and merge it with Yahoo, I'd be all for it.

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (4, Insightful)

syzler (748241) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290084)

The idea that this would make Microsoft a bigger "monopoly" is unfounded because neither Microsoft nor Yahoo! has anywhere close to the highest marketshare of online searches or advertising.

While I agree that Google almost certainly has the lion's share of searches, the article specifically mentioned IM and e-mail. The majority of the non-techy people I know use either MSN, Yahoo!, or AIM for instant messaging and e-mail. The only people I know using Google Talk are my co-workers and one of my non-techy friends.

Microsoft will probably not be very willing to work with Google to integrate Google Talk with either MSN IM or Yahoo IM. This will effectively split IM into two camps. In one camp there will be MSN IM and Yahoo! IM. In the other camp you will have Google Talk, AIM, and .Mac. Somewhere between the two camps, probably closer to the the Google/AIM/.Mac camp, will be Jabber services.

Google is already working to integrate Google Talk with AIM: Time Warner's AOL and Google to Expand Strategic Alliance [google.com] . AIM and .Mac are already talking together: iChat [apple.com] . Since Jabber already works with Google Talk, I would not be surprised if the integration between Google Talk and AIM is done via a Jabber server to server interface which would allow Jabber servers to talk to the AIM network as well.

From Google's blog:

Could a combination of the two take advantage of a PC software monopoly to unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access competitors' email, IM, and web-based services?

I too am afraid that Microsoft will attempt to quash any attempts to provide inter operability between different IM providers and will likely succeed since it will control the lion's share of IM accounts. Although Google has the lion's share of the search market, they at least provide or try to provide inter operability with other companies and do not try to lock competitors out of a particular business model.

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (1)

pthor1231 (885423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290282)

I too am afraid that Microsoft will attempt to quash any attempts to provide inter operability between different IM providers and will likely succeed since it will control the lion's share of IM accounts. Although Google has the lion's share of the search market, they at least provide or try to provide inter operability with other companies and do not try to lock competitors out of a particular business model.
While not having interoperability between IM clients sucks, thats still not limiting consumer's ability to freely access competitor's IM services.

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (1)

blowdart (31458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290436)

Microsoft will attempt to quash any attempts to provide inter operability between different IM providers

Except Microsoft and Yahoo already interoperate; I believe they were the first networks to do so in 2005. Their Corporate IM offering talks to AOL as well (both AIM and ICQ) and they've been in talks to do with the consumer offerings (but AOL was/is refusing to play)

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (0, Troll)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290090)

But at least in this case, Yahoo! lost its postition because it was out-innovated by the young google. Yahoo got complacent. When did Microsoft ever actually get to their position by having a better product than their competition?

Re:In fear of getting utterly cut up... (2, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290204)

The concern isn't that Google has a lot of the search engine market, the concern is that Microsoft, who is an OS monopoly and a former (and still near) browser monopoly, will use their monopoly in adjacent markets to attack the the search engine market.

Having a monopoly is fine, abusing it isn't. Google (if you call 2/3rds a monopoly) hasn't been shown to abuse its position, while Microsoft has in the past and very well might again.

thow those chairs, google (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289826)

Microsoft has countered with the argument that Google is actually the big bully in this instance

I wasn't aware that Google had finished their chair-launcher. I guess they have.

Competition (5, Insightful)

caution live frogs (1196367) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289830)

I love how Microsoft's take on the merger is that it will create more competition. Why is it that any time a big company swallows a smaller one, we're told that having fewer players in the field will increase competition? Do people actually buy that line of bull? Someone get these guys a dictionary.

Re:Competition (1)

AdamReyher (862525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289854)

It depends on what your idea of competition is. In the end, someone has to come out on top regardless of how many competitors there are. Couldn't we argue that within the field of Linux desktop computing, Ubuntu holds the overwhelming majority and therefore has close to a "monopoly" of that market? We can do the same thing with servers running Redhat or Debian? How about Apple and the multimedia creation field?

Re:Competition (4, Interesting)

Monx (742514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290018)

Most fields do not wind up dominated by a monopoly. Who has a monopoly in the tire industry? What about the stapler market? Nobody holds a monopoly in screen-ruler software.

Being foremost in your field does not make you a monopoly.

Both Ubuntu and Apple have real competitors. In order to be a monopoly you have to have no competitors of note. There's also nothing illegal about being a monopoly.

In order to be an illegal monopoly, you have to use your lack of competition in to prevent others from entering the market to compete with you (perhaps in another field). Remember when Microsoft effectively forced the OEMs not to sell Linux PCs? That's a monopoly at work. Neither Apple nor Ubuntu has that much power.

Re:Competition (0)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290792)

Remember when Microsoft effectively forced the OEMs not to sell Linux PCs? That's a monopoly at work. Neither Apple nor Ubuntu has that much power.

Apple sell a lot of Linux-equipped Apples in those pretty Apple stores, do they?

Re:Competition (1)

orlanz (882574) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290300)

No, there is an equilibrium where no one can ever come out on top. For example, in nature, hunter and prey keep in balance for generations upon generations. The minute one edges out on top, there is too little food, and/or too much food. In the market place, the ever innovating player keeps a tad bit in front, but eventually gets over taken. It is the ground rules such as patents, contracts, etc that create environments which nurture monopolies. But realistically, in the very end, all goods/services become either a commodity or a scarcity. The former results in perfect competition, and the later a lost market.

And Ubuntu is not a monopoly in the Linux desktop computing market. Neither is RedHat or Debian in servers. Apple isn't either in the media creation field. Just because you have the majority of the market doesn't mean you are a monopoly. Even if you have 100% of a market, it doesn't make you a monopoly. If you are the sole and _only_ provider of a service or good; that makes you a monopoly.

Ubuntu, Redhat, & Debian are monopolies on their brands, logos, and possibly the 2-3 scripts that they own full rights to (plus any other IP they own). Apple does have a monopoly on the iPod & iPhone. Google does have a monopoly on their brand and more importantly, their search algorithms. Microsoft does have a monopoly on MS Office and the Windows desktop, but since these two are basically equivalent to the "office" and "desktop" markets, they are considered to have monopolies in both.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22290310)

Couldn't we argue that within the field of Linux desktop computing, Ubuntu holds the overwhelming majority and therefore has close to a "monopoly" of that market? We can do the same thing with servers running Redhat or Debian?
Linux usage is hard to measure, but all evidence I've seen suggests that neither of these fields is very close to a monopoly. As an example, desktoplinux.com puts Ubuntu at 30% (and that includes all the different variations of Ubuntu). That's a large "market" share, but quite far from monopoly.

Re:Competition (3, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289922)


In this instance, it may not be accurate to say that a big company is swallowing a smaller one. In this case, it might be more accurate to say they are rescuing it. Obviously Yahoo wasn't going to vanish, but in terms of search engine usage, it's nowhere close to Google. This might boost that area and introduce a real rival to Google. In which case it really will increase competition.

Re:Competition (4, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290108)

Obviously Yahoo wasn't going to vanish, but in terms of search engine usage, it's nowhere close to Google.

Right, which is why a long time ago Yahoo began to diversify their offerings. They're not #1 in any field, but they are reasonably strong players in a dozen or so other fields.

Re:Competition (1)

dhavleak (912889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22291240)

In fact, the MSN (Windows Live) group in MS is rumored to have a head count of about 4,000. Yahoo has 16,000 employees. So in terms of cash, this is your normal big-fish-eats-little-fish type acquisition, but in terms of the business units affected, it's quite the other way around.

Considering Yahoo is light years ahead of MS in their online presence, branding, number of visitors etc., its highly unlikely that MS will try to make yahoo more like MSN -- the other way around makes much more sense. And if that's indeed the case, then it's more of a situation of MS's cash influx helping yahoo (and consequently MS) in the long run.

Re:Competition (1)

BadMuN (1069580) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290032)

Well, strictly speaking if neither Yahoo nor Microsoft were able to compete with Google previously, this would mean Google effectively had no other competitors. If after the merger they become a viable competitor, then Google obviously now have one competitor. Then again, I'm no economist.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22290268)

From the Microsoft Dictionary:

Competitive - Any market where Microsoft has / or is given the opportunity to gain an advantage.

Anti-Competitive - A market that limits Microsoft to a level playing field (and which does not favor Microsoft).

Erm... two entities fixated with each other... (1)

Aphrika (756248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289856)

...normally marry, don't they?

While it's obvious that MS has a certain fixation with Google - the new kids on the block - I'm also sure that it flows the other way too. Microsoft have developed core markets that Google is moving into, which I would wager is what got them rattled initially. However, with MS potentially buying Yahoo, the table does turn slightly and it becomes a case of MS parking their tanks on Google's lawn.

And there isn't anyone else out there big enough to do that to be honest... although whether it's a good move in the current economic climate remains to be seen.

Ain't no fair! We patented it. (3, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289858)

MSFT countered the Google announcement that, "What Google is doing is throwing some FUD. Trying to scare people using monopoly, proprietary and other such terms. MSFT considers this tactic illegal, since we have innovated, invented and patented the FUD technique. We consider all forms of FUD dissemination to be an exclusive intellectual property right of MSFT and nobody else has any legitimate claim to it. We will add this to the tally to 293 patent violations against MSFT by Linux and its accomplice Google."

So Juicy (1)

nozzo (851371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289874)

I'm really looking forward to seeing how this plays out. MS and Google are going to be knocking heads over this, it's Goliath vs Goliath and I reckon it's going to be a juicy bit of spectator sport. OTOH one side might just lose interest then it'll be boring - but we'll see...

You are forgetting something. (5, Insightful)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290006)

When it's Godzilla vs Godzilla, Tokyo gets trashed either way.

Here's Google Falling (1)

webword (82711) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289876)

When GOOG starts crying about competition, for whatever reason, you know that Web 2.0 is facing some serious issues. They should actually *want* the competition because they know that competition keeps them pushing hard to innovate.

Look, GOOG owns both search and online advertising right now. Not, not 100% "owns" but the marketshare for both is well over 50%.

Oh, and take a look at GOOG's share price:

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=GOOG&t=5y [yahoo.com]

They've been sliding down since about middle of November. What real innovations have we seen from GOOG recently? They are heading into wireless, phones, power grids, and so on. But what's really come of this? Where are they headed with search and advertising, their bread and butter?

Re:Here's Google Falling (2, Interesting)

cbart387 (1192883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290038)

When GOOG starts crying about competition, for whatever reason, you know that Web 2.0 is facing some serious issues.
Is the word 'web 2.0' anything more then a buzzword to make the internet 'cool again'? Can't we just call it 'same web, but with more pain-in-the-ass javascript functions for developers to write'? Anyways ...

It seems to me that innovation usually comes from the 'new kids on the block'. All these people are trying to predict the who's going to bring the newest idea. I don't think that's something you can predict. All the current players have done their trick and the 'newest innovation' will likely from someone new that we haven't heard of yet. My belief is the current players are all stuck in the same mindset they have always been in and that's hard to change. Granted that's my interpretation but there it is.

Microsoft Shills On Overtime! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22290092)

"What real innovations have we seen from GOOG recently?"

- What real innovations have we seen from Microsoft recently?

- How many free tools does Microsoft release without requiring you run Windows or Mac?

- Where's Microsoft's Summer of Code?

- Where has Microsoft delivered on bringing Windows and Linux together? You know, interoperability? Ballmer and the "They said it couldn't be done" Novell thing? How many DirectX games can you play on Linux without Wine or some other program NOT developed by Microsoft? Where has Microsoft done anything to seriously open closed formats to Linux users? And for anyone who says, "They're a company, it's their job to make money" or the same "people have to eat!" bullshit can blow me.

Seriously, people, do you think this company will ever change? How far up your ass does their dick have to be until you realize they're fucking you?

Go hug your Microsoft Halo toy while drinking your proprietary Silverlight jizm and playing on your Microsoft patent agreement Xandros, Linspire, or whatever distro this week has rolled over and decided to bite the patent pillow.

Re:Here's Google Falling (1)

ronark (803478) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290180)

All stocks have been sliding down since the middle of November. That doesn't indicate lack of innovation, but of economic recession.

Re:Here's Google Falling (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290472)

Some fall faster than others.

Take a look [google.com] at Google, Microsoft and Apple over the last 1 month - 6 month performance period. Microsoft has the least decline / most gain in every view. You have to go back a full year to see either company outperform Microsoft.

Convicted monoply abuser much? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22289880)

So Google voice a legitimate worry about Microsoft, a company convicted of abusing its monopoly status in one market to dominate other markets, buying a company that would give them a large portion of a market and they are the bad guys in this? Lets be honest what Google is saying is the first thing that came to the minds of everyone in IT who are not on the Microsoft payroll. We all know how Microsoft works and we can all hazard a guess at what their aims are in attempting to purchase Yahoo. It is doubtful the good of the internet and consumers are particularly high on their list of priorities.

Re:Convicted monoply abuser much? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22291182)

Google couldn't expect to go on forever without any real competition (and they haven't really had any for some time now). Either they will rise to the occasion (and become even better than before) or they won't, and will falter. Either way, I don't really see it hurting me as a consumer. Even if MS/Yahoo became the new dominant kid on the block, it wouldn't be long before someone new came along gunning for them. I remember when Google was first starting out, and everyone said "No way anyone is going to knock Yahoo and Alta Vista off the map, much less some little startup."

A quality product and word of mouth always assure good competition on the internet. The only thing that threatens this (and a much graver threat than anything MS has ever dared do with Windows) is the threat of ISP's abandoning net neutrality and setting up their own little pipeline ghettos.

The Hotmail route (1)

TooTechy (191509) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289886)

Would Yahoo enjoy the same Microsoft decisions that so guided Hotmail down the wonderful route of internal server migration?

Will they join the other service and take their place in the collective?

If you sell to MS, you know where your product is going in this space. If you are not badged MS then you are pretty much doomed to obscurity.

Google is Scared (1)

briggsb (217215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289918)

That's why they're exiting their Internet businesses [bbspot.com] . But seriously, you'd think Google would be encouraging the merger. They can concentrate on eliminating one flailing competitor instead of two.

Re:Google is Scared (1)

monschein (1232572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290002)

On the other hand, Google could be uneasy with the thought of the competition being one-on-one; especially against a company like Microsoft. I guess it's a game of who's the bigger "bully".

Fixation? (3, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289956)

Google has a Microsoft fixation? Ok, I'm not willing to argue that, but I think the fixation railroad runs both ways. It's pretty obvious that Microsoft is more than a little pre-occupied with Google.

Google is the bully? (0)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289980)

I don't see Google buying a company that makes operating systems and applications.

Playground scenario: Big kid says to smaller big kid "stop pickling on me you big bully".

Is cowardice a necessity when one is running a corporation? It seems bullying and cowardice are in fashion these days and kindness and bravery are out.

-mcgrew

PS- sorry guys, I'm in a bad mood today

Microsoft's Power In The U.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22289984)

IMO, I predict Microsoft's power in the U.S. is about to grow by leaps and bounds.

This company, IMO, is so deeply connected in our system it will be impossible to make any serious strides for another O.S. (penis whipped Mac aside) on the desktop unless they sold out already (Linspire, Xandros, etc.)

IMO Microsoft will eventually take over everything, not just computing, they will expand, expand, expand.

I bet Gates will hold some government job soon.

What Internet ? (4, Funny)

alexhs (877055) | more than 6 years ago | (#22289988)

Google has called Yahoo/Microsoft merger bad for the future of the internet
Yeah, but who wants an Internet anyway ? Certainly not Microsoft, MPAA or RIAA...

Microsoft would prefer a controlled^Wsecured Microsoft(r) Inter-Network, let's call it MSN for short :P

FUD is the word (0)

filbranden (1168407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290010)

Google learned with Microsoft. Google doesn't need to bid for Yahoo, or even buy Yahoo shares to break the deal. Just use FUD! As long as Google creates enough fear, uncertainty, doubt about the merger of Yahoo and Microsoft, it can stop the deal. Microsoft has done this for years now, with impressive results (after all, they have a monopoly on the OS/Office area).

Microsoft is going to take a little of its own medicine now...

Why are Google considered a "bully"? (1, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290086)

Microsoft is the guys here with the massive OEM deals to push their products onto the market, and using the economy gained from that to make "impossible" deals when they're thirsty of making a deal.

What has Google made? The main things would be... A search engine that beats the pants off Microsoft, designed while they were still a startup company? It hasn't really evolved much since that (actually that's a bit to my dismay). Oh, and their ads. Thanks to their (mostly) text-based ads, they found a niche and sucessfully expanded upon it as (surprise, surprise!) people found those ads more likeable than the banner shit spewn forth by competing advertising programs.

Anyway, trying to take a neutral stance on this, I think the thing here is that regardless if Microsoft and Yahoo merges, or Google and Yahoo does it, it will form a company with a very powerful web platform. So maybe neither should be allowed to? But if one should be, I think both should. Microsoft's abuse of their position is another matter than the power in the market this merge would form IMHO, and they should be caught for that stuff when that happens.

Fixation or just healthy response? (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290100)

"The New York Times, in the meantime, has accused Google of a Microsoft fixation."

Just this quote from Ballmer alone would put most companies on defcon 5. I wouldnt call it a fixation as much as a normal healthy reflex when someone attacks you.

"I'm going to f--ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to f--ing kill Google,"

Re:Fixation or just healthy response? (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290214)

"The New York Times, in the meantime, has accused Google of a Microsoft fixation."

Just this quote from Ballmer alone would put most companies on defcon 5. I wouldnt call it a fixation as much as a normal healthy reflex when someone attacks you.

"I'm going to f--ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to f--ing kill Google,"

Not to pick nits, but this misuse of DEFCON, along with ATM Machine and PIN Number, really grinds my gears. DEFCON 5 is peace -> DEFCON 1 maximum readiness. Read more here [wikipedia.org]

It's just like the stories, ma! (2, Insightful)

wertigon (1204486) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290102)

See? See? The bad guy (Microsoft) kidnaps the princess (Yahoo!) and The valiant knight (Google) comes to the rescue! And there was much epic battling. Then the princess stabbed both in the back. The end.

Microsoft + Yahoo = Microsoft (2, Informative)

Nomen Publicus (1150725) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290136)

Microsoft has no interest in keeping yahoo as a distinct set of services. Every Yahoo service that has a Microsoft equivalent will be absorbed. The remains will be buried. This is just a very expensive land grab - the last echo of the dot.com boom.

If it goes ahead it will be hugely disruptive of Microsoft as various in-house factions battle to increase their own influence and grab as much of the meat off the Yahoo bones as they can.

The Solution to All Our Problems (2, Funny)

flyneye (84093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290140)

Both Google and Microsoft,if REALLY worried about who get to control what for what reasons need to follow this simple formulae.
          Both parties contribute half the money for buyout.
Both parties agree that I will run the business favoring only my own interests.
Both parties agree I will keep 90% of all profits.
Both parties agree to do the same in future business squabbles.
Ol' uncle flyneye will keep the kids from fighting and set a good moral example for both.

What if Google bought out Apple.and Red-Hat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22290198)

would it be fair then?

Its their chance to get "silverlight" out there (2, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290202)

People can switch search-engines every day, but groups not so. How many groups or mailing lists do you belong to? How many of those are yahoo groups. I would be very surprised if anyone belonged to half a dozen groups or more without at least one being yahoo.

Moving a group is difficult, and it need the owner to want to. If you are a member you could set up a rival, but the chances are you would end up talking to yourself. Now suppose those groups switched to Silverlight (for a richer user experience) and required IE7 running on windows to access. This would be a big downer for any competitive desktops.

Who's to blame? (1)

Genocaust (1031046) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290232)

Microsoft has countered with the argument that Google is actually the big bully in this instance, with most of the search market already tied up.
So is this Google's fault for providing the best product, or their competitor's faults for providing lesser products? Nobody is forcing people to use Google's services, just most of us probably use them because they don't suck. Or are the lesser of whatever evils the available alternatives offer.

Re:Who's to blame? take 2 (1)

OSgod (323974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290968)

So is this Microsoft's fault for providing the best product, or their competitor's faults for providing lesser products? Nobody is forcing people to use Microsoft's services, just most of us probably use them because they don't suck. Or are the lesser of whatever evils the available alternatives offer.

Re:Who's to blame? take 2 (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22291074)

Nobody is forcing people to use Microsoft's services

Well, they were convicted because of actions which can be described as pretty, pretty closed to that.

a fixation.. (2, Insightful)

crossmr (957846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290298)

if anyone in the computing industry doesn't have a Microsoft fixation, you should probably stay away from them. You never know what MS will do next and given their market share that isn't exactly something you want to be oblivious to.

Spaceball reference? (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290330)

" Google And Microsoft Cross Swords Over Yahoo!"

Did anyone else picture an asthmatic Ballmer dressed in black telling a scruffy Schmidt "I see your Schwartz is as big as mine...lets see how well you HANDLE it!"

Understanding the buyout... (1)

dannydawg5 (910769) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290586)

What I don't understand about acquisitions is this...

Say Microsoft buys Yahoo for $45 billion. That money goes in to Yahoo's reserves. Deal is over, and now Microsoft now owns Yahoo.

But since Microsoft now owns Yahoo, doesn't Microsoft now own that $45 billion it just gave to Yahoo?

Am I missing something?

Nothing to see here... (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22290660)

Big, successful companies buy smaller, less successful companies with strengths in areas that they lack. It's just the nature of the market.

Google essentially left Google Video to sleep with the innovation fishes and just threw a bunch of cash at YouTube instead, and obviously Microsoft has done this a million times before. Hell, Yahoo itself has bought smaller companies in areas where it wasn't doing well.

As an interesting side-article (1)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22291004)

It seems that things are rumbling pretty fierce over at Yahoo! now. It definitely seems like they're ready to sell at least parts of their organization off. It was announced that Yahoo! is selling off their Yahoo! Music Unlimited service to Rhapsody: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/services/2008-02-04-yahoo-music-rhapsody_N.htm/ [usatoday.com]

What this means is really in the eye of the beholder. Could Yahoo! want to ensure that Microsoft doesn't get a firm foot in the downloadable/streaming music business? Do they want to see Rhapsody succeed? Maybe this is just part of the company that MS isn't interested in, so they're trying to sell it off seperately? Or, most likely, they're trying to sell off a sinking ship...which, IMO, is really sad. Sure, the service was limited to Windows and the software sucked horribly, but it was a tremendous product for the price. I listen to it ever day and I'm saddened that I'll have to pay twice as much for Rhapsody now...

Microsoft fixation? (1)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 6 years ago | (#22291054)

But, aren't we all fixated on Microsoft? They've been the dominant force in the IT industry for the last two decades and any company ignores them at their peril, so why shouldn't Google and everyone else here be wary of their every move, especially when it's so big? You know they're up to no good. Also, Google does not have a track record that's anywhere near as controversial as Microsoft's.

The more MS tightens its grip, the more ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22291088)

... star systems will slip through their fingers.

I'm particularly thinking that their INSANE obsession with Google will finally wreak the Microsoft-dominated landscape of desktop applications. MS is soooooooooo damn obsessed with "getting Google (I'm beginning to think of Richard Nixon's dark obsessions every time I hear Ballmer opine) that they're pretty much giving up the ghost on the desktop.

I think much of the surge in usage for Apple's Mac OS X is a reflection of Microsoft's total lack of attention to the desktop and, to a lesser degree, their Justice Department/EU woes in using their OS as a wedge against competitors.

Someday soon someone will take a fatal shot at Exchange and then MS really will be totally fucked.

And the world will be a better, sweeter place.

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