back to article MiYahoo's future rests with open source and courage

Should Microsoft's bid for Yahoo! go through, the combined company would face one very major infrastructure question - how far is it willing to go in the war against Google? According to some, Google enjoys a major cost savings advantage over its rivals through a series of bespoke data centers. The ad broker crafts its own …

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Bronze badge

iHooM?

It must have occurred to Google's owners a long time ago that using cool runnings would allow them to run a broader based network as well as a less power hungry one and that it would eminently suit climates in places like Malaysia, which were waiting to be knocked over.

So, while we were all wondering if Google were going to go head to head in a pointless duel with Microsoft, they pumped Open Source and went fishing. And whilst Yahoo and M$ simmer at home, fighting internal politics and legal squabbles to settle disputes over money they made years ago, their competition has come up with another cunning plan.

Google is set to make Rupert Murdoch's empire look tin-pot. And Open Source is going to heal IBMs open sores and final scores. I can't see what Microsoft is going to do with Yahoo except bring a bigger fire engine to the blaze.

Think about it. What is there in the merger that is going to shine when it's polished? Some new e-mail presentation? Another search tool? Alternative groups?

That's it?

That's a joke, right? There is nothing in the article that points to something we haven't already got.

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Silver badge
Alien

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And whenever I say Lead, I do mean Lead as in Command and Control.

And should you have any doubts about that, then they would be entirely yours.

Psst.. Do us and the world a favour, would you, and just send this message to the Boss and she can have a word in Rupert's ear . You never know, he may be just SMART enough to Change things from Space with a QuITe* Stealthy Alien Lead Program and they can always be Directly Indirectly Contacted via AI Signs in the Times such as .. Bet they're reading this worldwide.

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>>>>

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Gates Horns

No thanks, they'll destroy it like everything else.

I'll stick with Google. The one ingredient turning me away if M$.

So they going to run two search services, shut one down or merge them..? I see tears coming... hehe

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Coat

Another ace up their sleeve?

Disclaimer: These ideas are to be considered my personal rants, and not well-informed facts. Even if I from time to time has been in on public BETA programs from Microsoft, I'm not in the inner circle. I'm a computer enthusiast who used to work with computers (before my health caught up with me), nothing more.

Microsoft may be considering moving their server applications to an opensource*1 platform. No really.

And they can do it really easy, and still make money off it*2. If they write up a compatibility layer translating all their current system calls into BSD system calls*3, all they need is to make IFDEFs in their source code, and recompile with a new target.

They may even add it as a closed source module into an existing FreeBSD codebase, much the same way the Linux binary compatibility is done in FreeBSD. This would allow them a relatively painfree replacement of php with asp, apache with iis, and mysql with mssql*4. This work would even pave the way*5 for replacing parts of their low-level windows code aswell, much the same way as Apple did with OSX. This would make sense for them, as maintaining their current codebase is getting very expensive, especially with the EU and US antitrust lawsuit losses, three new EU lawsuits for interoperability coming closer on the horizon, and a lot of flak being taken worldwide. Yahoo has a lot of BSD-familiar programmers. Add those programmers into Microsofts own team, and add Microsofts codebase, and such a move is actually possible. And this would make the insane amount MS is willing to pay for Yahoo make some kind of sense.

Microsoft wants to be considered the "Formula one team" of IT. Even if noone outside the top floor of their Redmond HQ sees anything resembling this. One thing that Formula one teams does, is to "beta-test" technology on their race car, then bring the stable version of that tech into their regular cars. All the teams does this. Same with WRC.

To our day-to-day computer reality, this compares to branching out a development version, then merging the stabilized code back to the main codebase. We've all done this, or seen it done. Those development versions are usually what we call Alpha and Beta versions, while the first merges are called "release candidates", until we're sure we have the code fully merged. It's the same thinking as the racecar/regular car analogy. And for the same reason. Much like the racecar driver, the IT Pro running a beta, usually knows what to do when the system fails, and both can usually walk away from a crash with nothing lost apart from the test version (noone beta-tests on a production system, for obvious reasons). Microsoft wants to be considered the "Formula one" of IT. They may be considering bringing in Yahoo's BSD coders... Infact, Ballmer has admitted asmuch. He said they were after the developers. Microsoft may well be willing to pay that much for the development part of Yahoo, integrate the developers with their own team (including those from FAST*6), then leave the Yahoo management and operations to keep running their now "stale" company, until Microsoft cannibalize Live search, and Yahoo search into a new and better (ahem.) MS solution.

_IF_ Microsoft are making such a move-to-BSD-base (RecycleBSD?), and keep their compatibility layer (for old software) commercial, along with keeping the Microsoft Audio+GUI code (including all parts of DirectX) closed-source (For DRM, for control), we might finally see a stable "Windows". And a fast one. And it would properly explain the SUA*7 in Both 2003, and Vista.

Before you think "this guy is eighter from Upney, or from East Ham"*8, remember my disclaimer on the top of this post.

Regards,

Svein Skogen

------- Footnotes -------

*1: No, opensource does not automatically mean Linux, even if Linux is distributed under an opensource license. There are other opensource licenses than the dreaded, infectious, GPL. And GPL is considered an infectious license because it contains a clause that makes all derivates of a GPL source, become GPL. A truly free opensource license, such as the BSD license is compatible with Microsoft's model, since they can use the code, and then DON'T need to freely give away all their work on making the BSD code work. And before you start screaming about such a move from Microsoft, please start your criticism by pointing at OSX (OSX is built on the backs of FreeBSD coders.)

*2: No, I did not eat the same breakfast cereal as amanfromMars.

*3: see: Cocoa/Carbon, and Linux compatibility in FreeBSD

*4: Those server applications aren't half bad today, considering the limits the existing operating system puts on them.

*5: Microsoft may be considering this method of Paving the way, aswell: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/gbu-24.htm

*6: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/jan08/01-08FastSearchPR.mspx

*7: http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/library/695ac415-d314-45df-b464-4c80ddc2b3bc1033.mspx?mfr=true

*8: See the map here (one stop short of...): http://tiniuri.com/f/s8c

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Joke

MiYahoo is a really bad suggestion as to the name

Microsoft are not a humble company. My suggestion on the name after the merger is simple, and obvious: Microsoft!

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Well now,

Odds are, Yahoo will be using Microsoft software. Plop!

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Thumb Up

good article

Hey its great to finally read an article by someone who understands that building a world leading web service isn't just as simple as putting number 2 and 3 together on paper and gaining market share.

At least AOL / Timewarner made sense as a synergy (distribute Warners' movies and music to AOL's subscriber base).

Yahoo! and Microsoft have many like for like products/services and are nearly diametrically opposed in terms of the technology. Attempting to merge the two would be at best a bloodbath and in the worse case a disaster.

"(Microsoft) would need to move far away from its own proprietary software. The software/service provider would have to tap into the open source work done by Yahoo! and embrace the vibrant open source world where, frankly, the really interesting web infrastructure technology is being built.

In so doing, Microsoft would send a clear message to many of its largest customers. "A Microsoft-based web infrastructure is probably not the most economical or exciting path for you to take."

Exactly. However one suspects Microsoft's strategy is not to adopt Yahoo! but to cherry pick the choice bits, retool and re-badge them as an (inferior) .net / windows platform and eliminate the rest as competitors.

Yahoo!'s best hope for survival maybe to emulate Netscape, open source versions of their code and release it into the wild...

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ron

microsoft buy yahoo deal

if microsoft buy yahoo, here is whay i would do

have now 5 email accounts with yahoo plus have g mail accounts

will close all yahoo accounts and go with g mail

know a lot of people that use yahoo nessenger said they would look else where too

i donnot like the control now that microsoft have over people now with there products

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RW
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Hardware Fault Tolerance

MS can't compete on Google's turf for one very simple reason: MS software is dependent on hardware stability (cue Vista tilt bits), whereas Google accepts hardware flakiness as a given and lives with it. This is a profound difference with consequences that permeate their respective systems.

Hence, therefore, and ergo, MiYahoo will never be able to achieve the same economies that (in part) fuel Google's success.

Or so it seems to me, reading the entrails.

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Silver badge
Happy

Some stupid points, perhaps

Cheap hardware.

I don't think the difference between cheap and expensive hardware is all a hardware quality question but rather much a policy difference in priceing.

Building it your self, is hardly a question of adding some memory and hard disks to a standard motherboard. I think Google has been able to tweak the hardware part to fit them.

Open source like Linux and Apache.

As Google is not a distributor of Linux they do not need to reveal the tweaks they have made to the Linux kernel, and the same goes for Apache and probably for MySQL too.

There is no way Microsoft could copy that. (without stealing, of course).

Microsoft would have to spend the same time and effort on that, as Google has.

And Google is, of course, years ahead in that respect.

Microsoft would most likely work on a Windows based solution.

I feel a bit sorry for Yahoo, which is very stupid, because Yahoo is only the Yahoo shareholders.

And they are going to do quite fine, soon, perhaps.

It has taken me somtime to understand that a company, to day, is absolutly nothing more than it's shareholders.

Eventually, I think this MYHROSOFT thing will only strengthen Google.

And that is, perhaps, not so damned good.

The funny thing about Microsoft is that it is a "one and a half man" company

where other shareholders have no power at all.

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Why don't Rackspace compete with Google?

Maybe this is so obvious not to be worth mentioning, but I don't understand why Rackspace et al aren't building Google-like data centres. Why aren't Microsoft, Yahoo! and the like demanding Google-like pricing from their vendors?

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Funny

>> There are other opensource licenses than the dreaded, infectious, GPL

And no real world programmers would license their works as BSD unless they've been force fed the ray of sunshine, my little pony BDS cool aid. It's shame that such a trust will always be abused, but that's just what the BSD folks set themselves up for.

>> Hence, therefore, and ergo, MiYahoo will never be able to achieve the same

>> economies that (in part) fuel Google's success.

Yes well, Microsoft aren't known for having the most robust management, the amount of money they throw at problems is worrying. If Microsoft acquire Yahoo, yahoo will be dead. It won't be an acquisition, it'll be a slaughter.

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Happy

As slick as IBM

M$ is just as slick as IBM when it comes to buying companies, then wrecking them. It would be easier for all concerned if they just made a big bonfire of money out in the parking lot, turned Yahoo's lights off and called it a day.

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Pirate

Another Possibility

Balmer could have another purchase up his sleeve. He has been cogitating this deal for as long as the one he did with Novell.

If he buys Yahoo, he could justify buying Novell for the server software and interoperability expertise and by porting his Office cash cow to run exclusively under SUSE, he effectively negates the effects of migration to other Linux servers systems running Open Office and ODF.

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Pirate

Eating their own dog food

There is no way Yahoo will be allowed to continue with open source systems post merger, Microsoft has to eat its own dog food, anything else is admitting there is a better way of doing things - despite the fact everyone already knows this. Look at when they consumed HotMail, which at the time worked quite well on FreeBSD/Solaris, it only became a running joke when they forced it over to the completely inadequate Windows platform.

Yahoo! you! are! next!

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Alien

MicroHoo

Yes....... Precisely!

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Dog food

What is the end result when dogs like Microsoft eat their own food?

Precisely. The difference, of course, is that 'real' processed dog food has/can have biologically useful effects (fertilizer). I don't see any such benefits from the Microsoft rape of Yahoo!.

'Peaceful coexistence' only works if you're not trying to kill each other off. That pretty much eliminates Microsoft coexisting with anybody. 'Productively consuming' only works if the consumer's biochemistry is compatible with the consumee's. With the very definition of the Cathedral against the bazaar, that doesn't seem very likely, either.

Hey, Steve! If you're throwing money into the fire, sleip a billion or so my way...I can obviously use it a hell of a lot more productively than you can!

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Need to standardize references to Microsoft + Yahoo!

I suggest that the standard reference be "Microscroo!" sans quotes. The exclamation point is required to allow El Reg to continue to use its existing headline standard.

"Ballmer! Microscroo! Bash! Google! Again!"

"Microscroo! Tells! EU! Where! To! Go!"

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