Microsoft and Yahoo! have pulled their chairs back up to the proverbial negotiating table. Citing an unnamed source, The New York Times insists the two giants are now in "active merger talks." Apparently, Microsoft made that outrageous Yahoo! bid even more outrageous, raising its valuation of Jerry Yang and crew "by several …
Give me an 'M'
Give me an 'I' etc etc
Go big Steve!
<waves frilly underpants at crowd>
Basically what the fuck...
...am I missing? What the hell is Microsoft doing? What do they see that the rest of the world don't? This is truly baffling stuff. Hands up who, back in the day, just KNEW the Time Warner / AOL merger was absolutely idiotic yet it went ahead and now look...
I'm with AC here, WTF?
What the hell is Balmer looking for? More to the point, what is he trying to accomplish? Yahoo! is a content provider/search engine and Microsoft is everything else, including a marginal OS, so why would Balmer wish to dilute MS service offerings more, when they can't get their shit together with vista?
I'm really grasping at straws here, but maybe he's envisioning using Yahoo! as a delivery mechanism for new Microsoft products, like pay per drink office products, simply because Yahoo! has such a large share of the web content market?
I don't get it, but regardless of what his grand scheme is, it's going to be entertaining to watch it fail miserably.
I chose Paris because even she knows a bad business deal when she sees one.
Yahoo has Zimbra, the only viable competition for MS Exchange Server and a lot of other open source and/or *ix based stuff. Yahoo don't currently use Microsoft products and have a lot of developer talent. Maybe in areas that Microsoft can't get a toehold in because of their sheer size. They don't just want a search engine.
This will only work if...
...Microsoft defies traditional business logic and does the following:
Kills Yahoo! as an independent entity dead immediately;
Take the hit for a year and break out / re-purpose all the core parts of Yahoo! into existing and new Microsoft business units;
Create a new "leap forward" vision of information technology that gets them ahead of everyone else - including Google and the Open Source crowd.
My bet is that they do the obvious - apply EVA accounting to Yahoo!, meaning that it has to "pay its own way" while it gets integrated into the MS behemoth. Meaning that it will never get integrated and never go away...and never make any money.
Just like AOL did to Time-Warner...
(dead bird because that's what this deal is...)
You've got it wrong, chaps . . .
This is not Microsoft losing a cash hoard and trying to digest an elephant, it's Yahoo gaining a revenue stream to help it grow.
But can Ballmer keep his job?
Beast vs. Super Beast
The Beast from Redmond is trying to get into the fight and on the level as the Super Beast from Stanford. Everyone knows that Ballmer has Google envy he's just trying to get up to that level.
/> Tux cause he's good for everyone.
What if this deal is the first of several?
''The Devil went down to [Yahoo], he was lookin' for a soul to steal, and he was in a bind , 'cause he was way behind, and was willin' to make a deal...''
Balmer has rather consistently exhibited the behaviors of a actor on a tight schedule, with an adequate (but not excessive) budget.
As a sidebar...it's remarkable to me, that MSFT could be embarking upon a course of action (whatever it is) in which a few odd billion dollars could make or break the deal. Perhaps, if push comes to shove, Mister Gates would be willing to make a personal loan to MSFT.
If these behaviors are meaningful, and not merely a form of disinformation intended to confuse casual observers, then I'd really like to know what the next step in Balmer's master plan might be.
Some folks have jokingly suggested that MSFT should buy EBAY. And get PayPal as deal-sweetener. But I think that something like this is not out of the question.
Windows XP is likely to be the last worthwhile mass-market operating system that MSFT will ever produce. They are using every possible dirty trick to force Vista onto end-users. And having only partial success. OS 7 (or whatever) will likely have similar ''new & improved'' congenital problems when it eventually comes to market several years from now. From an anthropomorphic perspective, it appears that many small agile Linux mammals are just about to devour the next generation of MSFT dinosaurs.
Google is gradually evolving their massive server hardware and search/database software assets into a serious and realistic threat to MSFT's office product not-quite-a-monopoly business model at the low end of the performance spectrum, while Open Office is maturing into a serious and realistic threat at the upper middle. One might say that the cash cows in MSFT's herd are starting to look a little thin.
So, what is a vision-less and outmaneuvered MSFT to do?
One option would be for Balmer to turn MSFT into a net_2.0 (or net_2.5, or net_3.0) company. If so, if this is the grand plan, then Yahoo is only the first of several major building blocks that MSFT will need to buy or create.
(The Jolly Roger, since MSFT is embarking upon a treasure quest.)
- The Garret
So, to summarize...
the "unnamed source" told the NYT what anyone with a basic understanding of corporate mergers and posturing could have reasoned out. Where's the news?
Microsoft's business is old and not shiny.
Yahoo's business was shiny once.
Steve wants a shiny business but he doesn't have the je ne sais quoi to build one the way that Serge and Larry did.
So, Steve is going to rub two old businesses together until they shine like the morning sun.
What else can he do?
Update: Microhoo! merger has already happened
Check out the sig line on this e-mail i just received:
FOREIGN TRANSFER MANAGER
MICROSOFT SECURITY DEPARTMENT (UK).
M.S.PRO. ZONAL COORDINATOR
Phone Number: +447045756797
Notice the e-mail address for the Microsoft Security Department (UK) is a Yahoo (Hong Kong) address. Microsoft wouldn't use a competitor's product, so they must have already bought them. This also proves you fellas didn't actually give Hong Kong back to China like you promised. Now if you don't mind, I'm going to respond to this e-mail with my personal and bank information so they can automatically deposit the winnings from that lottery they say I won. Funny that, I don't even remember entering...
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