back to article Ballmer! explains! hostile! Yahoo! bid!

Steve Ballmer all but confirmed that Microsoft wanted to buy Yahoo! for scale, branding and audience rather than any technology or products the web media co owns. Ballmer claimed today that Microsoft's bid for Yahoo! would be a great deal for shareholders on both sides and will let the new company compete effectively in the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Now ain't the time for your tears

    "Steve Ballmer all but confirmed that Microsoft wanted to buy Yahoo! for scale, branding and audience rather than any technology or products the web media co owns."

    I read that as "web media clowns". Am I the only one?

  2. Jango

    This is what happens when you get stinking rich ....

    You had better spend those billions rectifying and optimising your crappy softwares Ballmer

  3. David Rollinson
    Gates Horns

    It good to share...

    "share a vision for online services"

    Perhaps in the same way that the USSR and Afghanistan shared a vision for socialism?

  4. Hans Mustermann

    Engaged for months, eh?

    Engaged for months, eh?

    Reminds me of that Dilbert strip about the merger, where the two CEOs are on the stage and one of them goes:

    CEO1: "We'll just get along like an old married couple."

    CEO1: "He's the wife."

  5. Peter Lenz

    The Real Reason

    The real reason for this is that Yahoo has lots of chairs. Ballmer is just trying to feed his chair-a-day habit. Seriously, someone needs to perform an intervention here, preferable some one wearing chair proof armored coat.

  6. Johnny FireBlade
    Gates Horns

    Pot, kettle, black!

    "Then Microsoft's legal counsel Brad Smith piped up with an explanation of how it would be anti-competitive if Google bought Yahoo!."


  7. Chris Branch
    Gates Halo

    Scale! Branding! Audience!

    Because Ballmer isn't interested in their developers...

  8. Christopher E. Stith
    Thumb Down

    Anticompetitive if GOOG buys, but not MSFT?

    MSN, MSNBC, Live, Hotmail, and Terraserver are already Microsoft. Those compare pretty directly to Google, Google News, Google Docs, GMail, and Google Earth from what I can tell. They're also fairly close to Yahoo, Yahoo News, Yahoo Mail, and Yahoo Maps for that matter, although not as close as to Google's offerings. Microsoft sells ads on its sites. What exactly is it that Google does that Microsoft doesn't do that would make one anti-competitive and not the other?

    LinkExchange, aQuantive, Numinous, CompareNet, MotionBridge, Onfolio, Placeware, Vermeer, Jellyfish, and Multimap weren't in the same business niches as Yahoo? Microsoft already bought all of those companies with mapping, online collaboration, mobile Internet, online shopping, and advertising tech.

    Microsoft is making large portions of its web presence depend on its proprietary web "enhancement" crap called Silverlight. How long before we need a special browser or special browser plugin to view Yahoo's sites if this goes through?

    What's to say Microsoft won't play with its new toy for six months, then can the whole list of Yahoo's services other than Flickr? They bought Golive, renamed Golive Cyberstudio Microsoft Golive, then canned everything else. They bought Visio and canned all but one product. It's in their history to just shut things down.

    It's safe to assume they're not interested in anything technical. When they bought Hotmail, it was a Unix shop. They quickly set to changing it into a Windows shop. Yahoo runs, from the last I heard, Linux and BSD. Surely Microsoft couldn't allow that.

    Google's not the company that charged white-box computer builders for DOS and Windows licenses on OS/2 preloads just in case their software preloads were being underreported, or as a way to stifle IBM's product (which MS itself got a royalty on). Google's not the company that used Stac Electronic's disk compression technology after trying and failing to buy Stac or license its patents. Google didn't put out a third-rate visual web site editing tool that wrote nonstandard crap that only the company's nonstandard crap browser would render.

    In short, Microsoft calling anyone anti-competitive or implying anyone else's possible actions might be anticompetitive is just farcical.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    This is a great news for all internet users!

    This is a great news for all internet users as the deal would make World Wide Web more competitive.

    The search would be better and ofcurse the Internet Advertising.

    The Webmasters can expect Higher revenues as there may not be Adsense monopoly.

    Anuj K

  10. James Le Cuirot
    Gates Horns

    Pots and kettles

    Brad Smith is right, of course, but hello? Pot, kettle, black? Just because MSN isn't as popular doesn't mean this isn't anti-competitve.

  11. Anuj

    Googly on google Yahoo! Great news ...

    This is a great news for users,webmasters and Advertisers (but not for Google)

    The WWW will be surely more competitive again....

  12. Tom Chiverton Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    bwuh ?

    "anti-competitive if Google bought Yahoo"

    But letting a convicted monopolist do so *isn't* ?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Up! yours! Balmer!

    As a Yahoo use of 13 years or so I'd rather go through the pain of moving to Google services that stay with a branch of Redmond's hapless empire.

  14. Earth Worm Jim
    Jobs Horns


    "Then Microsoft's legal counsel Brad Smith piped up with an explanation of how it would be anti-competitive if Google bought Yahoo!."

    I nearly injured my self when I read that.

    Because Microsoft loves competitors. It gives them something to spent all there ill gotten gains on.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    If it looks & smells like shite, then it's probably shite

    One company that's shite at search buys another one that's shite at search. Who uses msn or yahoo! anyway? So much 4 competition ...

  16. Jon
    Gates Horns

    yahoo employees: kiss your jobs goodbye

    "interesting in branding" not developers or products.

    So now I guess we can expect to see "microsoft live!" (notice added one ! point) instead of "yahoo!".

  17. Anonymous Coward

    "hoping to close the deal in the second half of 2008"...

    LOL, like MS ever completes anything on time.

  18. John Saunders

    How long can they tread water?

    Two tired swimmers (see their stock price declines since the last offer to buy), eyeing each other as potential floation devices?

    The orange one with the kapok filler, thanks.

  19. Eduard Coli


    Funny how good old pc monopoly MS is talking about Google being anti-competitive.

  20. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Crashing like it's 1999

    "Scale matters for online advertising." Are we back to forgetting about the product and customers again?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Time to close that flickr account

    It was bad enough Yahoo taking over my favourite photo site; not sure I can cope with it being MS run.

  22. John Stag

    One less toolbar / homepage-hijack for me to clean up...

    Yahoo's entire business model seems to be based on installing toolbars and hijacking people's homepages.

    If Microsoft thinks that's worth 44 billion then it doesn't bother me. Here's to a cleaner Internet without them.

  23. Mike

    With all that money...

    You'd think they could hire a sock-puppet who could compose a coherent post. (I'm looking at you, Anuj)

    Or is AmanFromMars moonlighting?

  24. John Angelico
    Gates Horns

    Principle of Denial...

    From another Comment

    "Yahoo owns Zimbra, the open-source email drop-in replacement for Outlook and Exchange, which works like a dream (from personal experience). Now why would Microsoft want Zimbra ;-)"

    (Outlook email monopoly by A Franklin at Euro lawyers see tortuous road ahead...)

    "Steve Ballmer all but confirmed that Microsoft wanted to buy Yahoo! for scale, branding and audience rather than any technology or products the web media co owns."

    From "Yes, Minister" comes the principle of denial: don't believe anything in the press until it has been firmly denied.

    They have been talking for eighteen months - long enouogh to have a good look at the product portfolio, right?

    Watch out for the "serendipitous" disappearance of a competitive product.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Return of the Jedi

    I really enjoy My Yahoo, for its bookmarks, RSS, weather, tools, etc. I'm really bummed that I will have to find an alternative. And then how do I get all my photos out of flickr and into an alternative. Is there an alternative?

    Luckily yahoo mail addresses can be forwarded now.

    Oh no - what about my geocities page?

    This is like a messy divorce, but I'm not sticking with MS. Not after they deleted all my hotmail when I went backpacking for few weeks.

    The empire is growing. Send for Obiwan Kenobi.

  26. Anonymous

    they share a vision

    <quote> Ballmer said [...] that the two companies "share a vision for online services". </quote>

    They share the same vision with Google, right?

  27. mark sudlow
    Gates Horns

    ...why you ask?

    ..because Microsoft are bricking it. Google has the potential and the balls to erode MS monopoly of the desktop. They have a complete online office suite, email, et, etc,etc. They are pioneering web based applications which MS are still sat around talking about.

    Bricking it!

  28. Anonymous John

    'We've been engaged for months'

    Oh I see. It's a dowry..

  29. Chris
    Paris Hilton

    Yahoo marriages Micro$oft

    Has anyone forgot to inform Mr Steve "I am waiting to be worldchampionship chair throwing" Balmer that Yahoo + Ms doesnt necessarily means that the sum of the separate entities is equal to their separate worth?

    I mean when Yahoo is taken over and Yahoo im is discontinued in favor of the much less stable and usable Ms Live! Messenger you can bet on it that loads of the Yahoo hits will move to different shores...

    Which ever way this goes there is only One winner and No Mr B its not Microsoft its the Googlezilla... not the Redmond Beast...

    Paris because EVEN PH could figure out that a Yahoo and Ms marriage would mean BAD news for the online world... Very Bad news...

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Balmer making me switch to Yahoo

    Well I am not waiting around, I'm switching to Google.

    Interesting and revealing reaction to Vista, Xbox and Zune market failures. Microsoft is going to finally do what it knows best and that is selling.

    You see M$t never was very good at continuing to develop other peoples software they bought. Be interesting to see how quickly they will ruin Yahoo.

  31. Michael P

    Just in..

    MS yahoo, yahoos about "Yahoo!" brouhaha. Google moguls ogle ugly oligarch. Altavista ultra wistful, mists up over missed tricks.

    World turns.

  32. Frantisek Janak


    I'm SO glad I'm using SmugMug instead of Flickr..

  33. Adam Trickett

    Makes as much sense as MS buying Ford to complete with Honda

    Microsoft are an also ran in the web space. They never invented a thing, their entire edifice is bought in companies. They don't make any money and if I were a MS shareholder I'd be looking for an exit strategy.

    Yahoo! are not perfect but they are in a better position that Microsoft, but they are losing ground to Google all the time. If I were a Yahoo shareholder this looks like the perfect opportunity to cash out and let someone else loose to Google.

    Microsoft make one (not very good) operating system, and one office suite, both are profitable and near monopolies. Everything else loses money hand over fist, and they would be better off leaving the markets that they are not any good at, rather than wasting the huge profits they do make trying unsuccessfully to enter other markets.

    Microsoft may as well buy a stumbling motor company to try and compete with a successful one. It's insanity, Microsoft are not a web company, they are not an advertising company, they are just a pretty useless software company sitting on-top of a profitable desktop monopoly.

    A better option would be for Steve to give the entire Microsoft web portfolio to Yahoo, take a stake in Yahoo to protect it from takeover, and stand back. With Microsoft's customer base and cash injection Yahoo may be able to turn their ship around and take on Google. The best part is that Microsoft can stop loosing money and they never have to admit that their platform is pants.

  34. Stuart Duel
    Dead Vulture

    Dump then Flush then repeat

    Of course the obvious question is why MS doesn't think Yahoo wouldn't haemorrhage clients and users once it has been tainted by icky tentacles of the Beast of Redmond?

    Let MS blow $45 billion dollars on another pointless take-over. The sooner Ballmer flushes MS down the toilet the better for the technology sector.

    Since MS isn't interested in Yahoo's technology, only their online presence, if Yahoo have any pride in their tech prowess, they'll sell or spin that off to ensure it lives and thrives.

    Or does MS see something there that must be killed?

  35. Paul Randle

    The most expensive suicide note in history

    Perhaps I can be the first to dub this "the most expensive suicide note in history".

    What M$ needs is not Yahoo!, it's users, developers, technology, staff etc.

    What M$ needs is a clue. Long-time observers will know that it never has had one, and It clearly cannot generate one from its own resources

    Equally clearly, whatever clue Yahoo once may have had is long absent.

    This is great news for Google.

  36. Karl Lattimer

    Ballmers obsession

    It seems ballmer is obsessed with google, and rather than maintaining their market for desktop operating systems, they've drawn on the resources from that product to prop up their other developments until their latest OS is late, severely crippled, unpopular etc... Now they want to create a new microsoft which is solely occupied with competing with google.

    They've forgotten their core business in an attempt to keep themselves alive against google... Its kinda like the tortoise and the hare in a way, if you think google have been plodding along for years, investing in developers, investing in new technology, integrating technology and providing new services which users find really nice to use, and now microsoft are running themselves out of puff just before the finish line :)

  37. John Prew


    Wonder what this means for those of us who use Yahoo Messenger. MSN can't even connect 30% of the time, and half the features are disabled effectively if you live outside the US. Its also useful for the Launchcast plugin, both of these services i can see getting the axe under MS. They axe Yahoo Messenger and bring it under MSN's wing, i won't be using that crap.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft Is Fighting Too Many Fronts

    M$ is trying to like an omnipotent God in every corner of the computing world, which is bad news for M$. The OS is the base of their pyramid which they have very badly taken the eye off the ball and released a stinker with few discernible benefits. M$ being the unwieldy monolith that it is, are going to find it very hard to back peddle. The Law Of Diminishing Returns anybody ? M$ is now too big to respond market changes swiftly enough and from a business point of view should be broken up into several business units. The next 5 years are critical to M$ - you could see them continuing as they are ( in which case they may well get creamed and profits fall off a cliff) or need to dump the loss making parts, split divisions, become innovative and respond more rapidly to change. M$ you've had it easy for 15 years as growth has made you lazy and overweight, there are now real alternatives coming to market. I suggest to whispering Steve to have a close look at the pharmaceutical market and take note ! Or someone might do to you what you did to IBM :)

  39. Rob McDougall


    There are always alternatives.

    John Prew - try Last.FM - I think it's a million times better than Launchcast, which I stopped using when Yahoo! took over (so I haven't been on for a few years - I may be wrong!)

    To that other guy who loves My Yahoo - try iGoogle ( - it sounds the same to me.

    I used to use Yahoo in the 90's, had a brief stint with Hotmail till 2001, .Mac til '04, now Google owns my ass. And the thing is - I don't mind one bit, their services are fantastic!

    And I totally agree with Adam Trickett, as I've posted all over the place Microsoft should concentrate on fixing Windows, continue with Office and dump the rest.

  40. Jay Zelos


    I've just been looking at Zimbra Groupware to see if we could use it at work. As a Yahoo owned company it seemed fairly well backed and looks a well supported and stable product. However I can't see MS Yahoo continuing with a Linux/Mac based email product that competes in the same space as Exchange. Hopefully the DoJ will ask that it be spun out as a separate company, otherwise....

  41. Mark O

    Why do big corporations inspire so much emotion in some people?

    It's interesting to see how many people plan to abandon Yahoo if this take-over happens. Do you really care which billion dollar corporation runs the servers on which your web based emails, hotel maps and porn searches are stored?

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Who needs Yahoo!?

    ...when you've got Dewey:

  43. Herby
    Black Helicopters

    Is it just me, or is this a coincidence...

    Vista SP1 and Yahoo! merger talks.

    You be the judge!

  44. Christopher E. Stith
    Thumb Down

    Oops, it was Adobe that bought CyberStudio

    That was long before they bought Macromedia. Still, there's more real competition to Adobe than to Microsoft. The consolidation of those companies doesn't sit real well with me. MS and Yahoo sits even less well.

    Don't forget, too, MS is the same company that bought all of FASA Interactive, Rare, Access Software, Electric Gravity, Atomic Games, BAO, and ShadowFactor in order to become competitive in the video game market. They also signed an exclusivity agreement with Digital Anvil.

    MS also bought many database software companies, Windows utility companies, and web software companies in the past. Nearly every market MS is in they've bought multiple competitors to start and protect their market share.

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