Microsoft-Yahoo; Macrohoo; Yahsoft?


Microsoft bets the company … again. This time however it’s for real and it’s not hyperbole. And if they loose the bet, then what? Where will they be?

The last few times (.NET, Internet for example) were possibly technical risks and for many other companies there would have been a gamble, but when the rubber hits the road, Microsoft is a pretty solid technology company. But now they find themselves in the midst of a leadership change and conflicting visions. They are wandering. They are not facing technical challenges; they are facing challenges of purpose and there in lies a real challenge for the technically competent geeks in Redmond.

The risk Microsoft faces is essentially being sidestepped. The battle is moving past operating systems and office tools into other areas, such as the social sphere. Microsoft isn’t there. The choice: stick with the tools that built them into one of the largest technology companies in the world or recognize that it’s time to move on and “embrace and extend” other things.

Can they do it? Can the current leadership and the “old timers” see the challenge and re-frame their perspective to see a Microsoft not just built on Windows and Office but on technology–any technology–that helps people do what they want. That is after all what they purport in their advertising.

To answer the question: they have made the first positive move to engage with Yahoo! But can they convince the seemingly unwilling partner and then embrace rather than smother. A real challenge for geeks, which means risk and so there really is a bet.

Groundswell (Incorporating Charlene Li’s Blog): Microsoft’s bid for Yahoo!: What it means

Microsoft laid out the four areas of advantage, namely 1) scale economics of audience and advertisers; 2) R&D capacity; 3) operational efficiencies; and 4) emerging platforms like mobile, video, and social computing. A combined Microsoft/Yahoo/Facebook deal at some point in the future could be the media company of the future.

We believe that they [Yahoo] will do *everything* possible to avoid being acquired. Their most likely savior would be Google, in that Yahoo! would turn over all of its search advertising to Google in exchange for a guarantee. If Google was willing to pay $900 million for MySpace’s search advertising, Yahoo! would get a huge premium. That would be enough cash to bolster Yahoo!’s efforts to reposition its efforts as a portal and display advertising powerhouse.

That’s Google real threat — the ability to leverage today’s search relationship into Google Domains and eventually, software as a service that could undermine Microsoft’s long-term position… the acquisition of Yahoo! could well position Microsoft to make a bid for the darling of the moment, Facebook.

Macworld | Analysis: Microsoft-Yahoo merger won’t dethrone Google

Google’s search market share was 58.4 percent in December, while Yahoo and Microsoft combined for almost 33 percent of the market, says Allen Weiner, Gartner’s lead Google analyst. Yahoo holds 22.9 percent and Microsoft 9.8 percent, he says.

Despite Yahoo’s troubles, Microsoft and Yahoo together would have some unique capabilities that might pose a challenge to Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have to look beyond search to things like social networks and other online forums that will provide a more holistic understanding of online behavior Microsoft-Yahoo venture needs a strong leader.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer probably wouldn’t be the guy, because he doesn’t seem to be “the main influencer in the media portion of their business,”

Macworld | Analysis: Yahoo bid could backfire lest Microsoft change its ways

Microsoft’s $44.6 billion offer to purchase Yahoo is a dramatic statement from a company that delayed acknowledging the importance of emerging Web business models for so long, it faced becoming an also-ran in the Web 2.0 economy.But the cultural implications of the move are so tricky that the deal could end up backfiring for both vendors if Microsoft doesn’t take care to learn from its past and use Yahoo to transform its business, not just help bolster its unproven efforts in online advertising and hosted services. Microsoft has never been one to let go of its vision or proprietary interests too easily; when acquiring companies, it usually subsumes the products and services and brands them as its own.

To make the deal a true success, Microsoft also has to prove that it can let go of its entrenched Windows OS and desktop software culture, which had been the anchor keeping Microsoft from moving more quickly against Google and Yahoo in online advertising and services in the first place.Still, some think an entire cultural shift isn’t necessary for Microsoft to make the most out of the deal. David Mitchell Smith, vice president and fellow at Gartner, said Microsoft can leverage Yahoo successfully without changing its usual way of doing things, by keeping the brand and merging the best parts of Yahoo’s Internet business, such as its online content, advertising and search, with its online services efforts.

Electronista | Yahoo deal really Microsoft threat?

The search engine giant is allegedly investigating “any other option but Microsoft” as a possible partner or buyout candidate, Swisher says. The purported tip also suggests that Yahoo chief Jerry Yang has rejected multiple private attempts in the past and that other top staffers at the company consider Microsoft’s move a thinly-veiled hostile takeover.


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