back to article Microsoft! bids! $44.6bn! for! Yahoo!

Microsoft has made a $44.6bn takeover bid for Yahoo!. Microsoft is offering Yahoo! shareholders a mix of cash and stock under the unsolicited offer. The $31 per share offer represents a massive 62 per cent premium on Yahoo!'s closing price yesterday. Yahoo!'s board of directors promised to look at the offer "carefully and …

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Unhappy

Dissapointed

I hope the Europeans can "Nip it in the bud" because the US will not. Microsoft has passed too much money around Washington, DC.

Dear Yahoo,

I have been a loyal customer for 10+ years. Come to think of it, I remember when Yahoo started on the internet. It was the coolest thing since canned beer. Alas, if you sell out to microsoft, you leave me no choice except to leave and never return.

Sincerely,

MSP

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Happy

overpriced

this is 8x larger than their largest previous acquisition and will probably be 100x more of a mess and at this price M$ believe Yahoo has the same value as Sony Corp

I bet the Google guys are laughing their socks off

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Jobs Horns

Well, that's already in the toilet.

"Together, Microsoft and Yahoo! can offer a competitive choice"

To what, the manual Rolodex? Microsoft's "searhc engine" migh be more aptly named the "pull something out of my arse and call it a result engine," and Yahoo hasn't had a viable search engine for years; too many irrelevant results, and no serious effort (nothing effective, anyway) made to prevent spammers from poisoning the results.

Or does MS want to consolidate the MSN Live/Hotmail user base with the Yahoo Mail userbase (thus alienating both groups)? Or perhaps the Yahoo Instant Messenger users can be convinced to bugger off along with the Windows Live Messenger users?

I don't know what this is all about, but one thing I am sure of - it's all smoke and mirrors, intended to distract attention from the *real* monopolistic move that Ballmer has planned.

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Pirate

@Stan - Microland

Microland is indeed a scarey thought - just imagine Ballmer with access to nuclear missiles!

I shall, however, refrain from making a GWB comment here.

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Anonymous Coward

Woohoo

this is great news,

MS are going to flush $44 billion quid down the toilet on a search engines that sucks almost as much as their own.

I don't think it gets any better then this.

Vista going down the toilet.

Virtual Server going down the toilet.

MS Office 2007 down the toilet.

MS CRM *flush*

This is infact the very best thing that could happen to help microsoft put a few more nails in its coffin, sure it has a way to go but it's about as shrewd a move as aol times warner.

Go steve go, spend more money on companies that wont return a penny!

SuperHero

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Alert

Alexa ratings

By the way, according to Alexa, yahoo.com is the most visited site on the internet, followed by google.com. So don't be to hasty to say "why are MS buying something dying".

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Pirate

@Mark

<<Watch folks jump...

By mark

It will be interesting to see how many folks (like I just did) setup their GMail accounts. Yahoo was the stable alternative for those who dislike MS and didn't yet trust Google. In my case, I would rather write note cards than have a email profile associated with MS.>>

Amen brother! I just did the same thing - and added two new groups that I had run through Yahoo%

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Black Helicopters

baaah! baah!

1: buy lots of yahoo stock when it is fairly cheap.

2: announce you are buying yahoo!

3: wait a bit while suckers buy stocks.

4: sell stocks

5: announce you changed your mind

6: profit

7: say all the money came from vista sales!

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Rich, bloated, but lonely old Microsoft . . .

... takes trophy bride Yahoo for comfort in final years, but soon falls asleep on the job, suffocating new bride.

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What about the MS shareholders

"So the plan is we are going to spend almost 50bn on a dying internet search portal and crappy messenger"

MS stock was down 6.6% by end of trading on 1st of Feb, look at the graph on Yahoo Finance :)

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Google

The way for Google to compete with this bid would be to essentially buy out the heart of Yahoo!

Offer like $20bn just for Yahoo! Search (And possibly pick up Flickr since that's the cash cow, then merge it with YouTube) together with a name usage license.

Share holders would probably like this deal since that's a big payout for just one or two components of the Yahoo! portfolio (and Yahoo! search will never compete will Google again anyway), but they don't have to dump everything with Microsoft and in the process risk killing it all.

Since they weren't buying the whole company Google would probably get away with it without suffering at the hands of anti-competition laws.

Back in the days when I used to use Yahoo! ( < 2000) it was "Yahoo! Search powered by Google" then Yahoo! switched to the Alta Vista engine, and I (along with everyone else) dumped them like a sack of rocks. Google could bring Yahoo! Search back to it's former glory, bolster it's own product with the Yahoo! Directory, and solidify for all time it's leadership in the sector by owning both major brands.

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Fox
Pirate

Alas, poor Zimbra...

I do hope those nice people at Zimbra seize the chance to open the source code of the good bits (scuse pun) ...push, Blackberry, etc. *BEFORE* they become Micro$oft "intellectual property" ...and are crushed like cockroaches.

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b

waste of money

hahahahaha!

should have waited a few months, could have bought it cheaper!

(recession coming)

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Happy

@ Dimitrov - Detailed Alexa ratings

Google total 26.8% (3 month ave) ^6%

# google.com - 59%

# mail.google.com - 19%

# images.google.com - 9%

# video.google.com - 2%

# picasaweb.google.com - 2%

# groups.google.com - 1%

# translate.google.com - 1%

# maps.google.com - 1%

# Other websites - 6%

Yahoo total 27.3% (3 month ave) n/c

# mail.yahoo.com - 46%

# search.yahoo.com - 14%

# 360.yahoo.com - 5%

# yahoo.com - 3%

# news.yahoo.com - 3%

# login.yahoo.c97om - 2%

# wrs.yahoo.com - 2%

# answers.yahoo.com - 2%

# bid.yahoo.com - 2%

# sports.yahoo.com - 1%

So if a large proportion of yahoo mail users switch to gmail (as I will if it happens) then microhoo! will indeed be $hafted

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Fox
Gates Horns

Gadzooks! Batman! Holy! Mother! of! Monopolies!

I cant help wondering why so many comments seem to be taking Micro$oft's spin on this at face value, are people REALLY that gullible?

"We would value the opportunity to further discuss with you how to optimize the integration of our respective businesses to create a leading global technology company with exceptional display and search advertising capabilities." blah blah blah...

This is (presumably) a reference to Yahoo!'s search engine interests? Hmmm... is that really what's peaked Big Green's (envy) interest? Really? Just the cranky old, comparatively insignificant, search engine? I didn't notice any reference to any of Yahoo!'s other services. Perhaps Mr Ballmer isn't aware of them...

Instant Messaging market share

http://www.bigblueball.com/forums/general-other-im-news/34413-im-market-share.html

2006:

* AOL: 53 million

* MSN: 27 million

* Yahoo!: 22 million

* Google: 866,000

Post takover:

* AOL: 53 million

* Microhoo!: 49 million

* Google: 0.9 million

Webmail market share:

http://weblogs.hitwise.com/bill-tancer/2008/02/microsoft_and_yahoo_putting_th.html

2008 (US):

* Yahoo!: 55%

* Microsoft: 26%

* Google: 6%

Post takeover:

* Microhoo!: 80%

* Google: 6%

...and so it goes on. In fact, of the 15 categories compared by Hitwise, Yahoo! dominates all but 2 (searches and maps).

It's the *SEARCHES* you're interested in though, right Steven?

"Today this market is increasingly dominated by one player."

...that'll be Microhoo! then!

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Upcoming trend of the 21st century:

"Together we can offer an increasingly exciting set of solutions for consumers, publishers and advertisers while becoming better positioned to compete in the online services market."

Virtual machine consolidation ...

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Silver badge
Pirate

@waste of money

"hahahahaha!

should have waited a few months, could have bought it cheaper!

(recession coming)"

b,

Quite possibly one of those desperate, lead balloon type initiatives, as recently favoured by Ben Bernanke and the Fed, to try and kick start interest in a moribund global business model. In other words, Steve doing just what he is told to do, like a good little boy. There is certainly no obvious innovation or logic in the move. There could be a lot of loose screws though, knocking around the Board room.

And we all know the way these things work. Microsoft only need to think back to themselves at the start. The Giant Killer Application comes out of nowhere from a nobody and proposes something so outrageous that it flies higher and faster and embeds itself deeper than anything thought of before. More of the same has never offered anything worthwhile and is never a wise investment, it is just a place in which to launder some cash normally...... which actually now makes Microsoft and Yahoo vulnerable to a Google takeover/makeover although all they would need to do would be to strip away their most valuable assets, which I suppose would be any of their Pioneer Programmers working in Financials.... the Jim Gray Hero types .... http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/02/berkeley-will-h.html

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Gates Horns

Gadzooks! Batman! Holy! Mother! of! Monopolies!

I cant help wondering why so many comments seem to be take Micro$oft's spin on this offer at face value:

"We would value the opportunity to further discuss with you how to optimize the integration of our respective businesses to create a leading global technology company with exceptional display and search advertising capabilities." blah blah blah...

...is that really what's peaked Big Green's (envy) interest? Just the cranky old, comparatively insignificant, search engine? I didn't notice any reference to any of Yahoo!'s other services so perhaps Mr Ballmer isn't aware of them...

http://www.bigblueball.com/forums/general-other-im-news/34413-im-market-share.html

Instant Messaging (2006):

* AOL: 53 million

* MSN: 27 million

* Yahoo!: 22 million

* Google: 866,000

Post takover:

* AOL: 53 million

* Microhoo!: 49 million

* Google: 0.9 million

http://weblogs.hitwise.com/bill-tancer/2008/02/microsoft_and_yahoo_putting_th.html

Webmail 2008 (US):

* Yahoo!: 55%

* Microsoft: 26%

* Google: 6%

Post takeover:

* Microhoo!: 80%

* Google: 6%

...and so it goes on. In fact, Yahoo! dominates 13 of the 15 categories Hitwise compared (all but searches and maps).

It's the "exceptional display and search advertising capabilities" you're interested in though, right Mr Ballmer? No anti-competitive concerns there then.

"Today this market is increasingly dominated by one player."

...that'll be Microhoo! it! seems!

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Flame

This may be a sign of some even more evil times to come...

A little while ago, Microsoft bought FAST (http://www.fast.no/ http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/jan08/01-08FastSearchPR.mspx).

This is basically the technology that would make Ya? Who? search somewhat usable. Getting a usable search system, WOULD attract users. Especially if they had the brains to allow a similar xml interface that you get for IE7, Firefox, Opera, etc (and get TO google, Live, ask, aol, lycos, yahoo, amazon cnet daily mail, eBay, Guardian Unlimited, Microsoft, Orange, Tesco, Times Online, Virgin.com, Wikipedia).

Now, why is this important?

Microsoft has started to see (part of) the writing on the wall. More and more governments in the civilised world (the part of the world that ISN'T run as a corporistic republic), are starting to mandate opensourced alternatives. In Microsofts mind, this is ONLY a matter of price, and has nothing to do with freedom. Remember, Microsoft bosses are used to a country where you can buy yourself new laws (if you're rich enough), and you can pay your way to get large government contracts. They are also used to having their home countries intelligence services using their capabilites to augment the competitiveness of national companies in international contracts.

Now they are facing competition they simply cannot understand. Both from Google (and that annoys the crap out of them), and from something they simply cannot understand: FOSS. FOSS is a nightmare for Microsoft. They simply cannot fight it, because there isn't a single company to attack, and the largest backers of opensource, such as Sun and IBM, are somewhat so used to ugly business tactics, that Microsoft cannot attack them. Atleast not all at once. Since Microsoft are deluded (by themselves) to think that the customers moving to FOSS software are only a matter of price (remember, all their "get the facts" marketing scams have been around suggesting that Microsoft solutions are somewhat cheaper. They ONLY look at price. It's the only thing they understand), they are thinking "we need a new revenue stream, so we can start giving away windows for free, and thus tie users to our other revenue streams".

Consider the following:

-Microsoft acquires FAST.

-Microsoft acquires Yahoo.

-Microsoft applies FAST technology to Yahoo search volume, and starts attracting users.

-Microsoft allows all kind of browsers xml-access to the search system. No reason to block them out, since each one of them applies a set of eyeballs to their ads, which is a good thing.

-Microsoft ships IE8, with no option to replace their web-based search in the browser window with alternatives as Lycos or google. Most end users find themselves accepting IE8, if it is reasonably bug free.

-If IE8 is well received, and usage picks up, Microsoft ships Windows Live Free Edition. It's freely downloadable from the net, and the only "restriction" compared to, say, Vista, is that you cannot replace the IE8 browser, and cannot install a mail client (force people to be using the "Live Services"). Every user is able to get a free windows, that is tied down to their Live YaHotmail, and their Live YaFAST-Search. All mail on their hotspam service is of course scanned for keywords, both for ads, and for NSA.

-All piracy of windows disappears, since those not interested to pay, can use the free version (still good for gaming).

Scary, isn't it?

//Svein

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Linux

Moo! Search

I think it should be called Moo! Search. It stands out from the rest of the crowd and is quite rememberable.

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Hey you a journalist, stop with the vulgarity, you should know how to say it better without it.

HI, I am sick to death about journalists that have to resort to vulgarity to get their point across. I learned a long time ago, its more effective for you to use regular words to say something like that, and a journalist should know how. Children are reading your work and so is rest of the world. The only respect you will get by using vulgarity are from those who spew it out of their mouth like air. Any fake word is not acceptable that is obviously a F word in disguise. You have lost a reader... and if The Register does not clean up its act, they have lost a reader. Big deal if Microsoft wants to by Yahoo, the two have been talking about it for years.

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Gates Horns

Moo! anyone?

Seriously - Winhoo's 2009 by Moo!

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