back to article Microsoft! needs! Yahoo! developers! developers! developers!

The rhetoric surrounding Steve Ballmer's unsolicited $44.6bn offer for Yahoo! will focus on the obvious - the potential market share growth that a Microsoft and Yahoo! tie-up would have against Google. For all the talk of saving Yahoo! shareholders, Google is uppermost in the Microsoft chief executive's mind, and Microsoft is …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    OK then....

    I hope you’re feeling better after that because it simply amounted to a rant and offered nothing insightful.

    Sort out your issues, re-evaluate you life and let’s all just move on eh?

  2. Brett Brennan
    Jobs Halo

    The Bottom Line is still the bottom line

    We tend to forget that Microsoft is, before all else, a profit-generating machine. Like it or not, the strategies that MS uses to insure income are just that - income generating strategies.

    Rather than worry about the Yahoo! developers, one needs to ask: how will Microsoft use the acquisition of Yahoo! to generate revenue that follows their existing mind-set? Unlike Google or Amazon or the other "successes" in driving revenue from "new computing" and "Web 2.0", Microsoft looks for using other products and services to drive customers deep into their "core" business, buttressing their ownership of the entire value stream by force-fitting other products and services into the same "total ownership" model.

    Today it's not about buying your way into a market, unless you are just mopping up some customers from a weak competitor. It's all about creating a new paradigm and getting "fresh" customers that stay with you through the growth phase, even if it's an initial loss.Bezos realized this at Amazon back in the beginning, as did the folks at eBay when they bought PayPal. eBay and PayPal are actually better examples of what Microsoft SHOULD be capable of: eBay recognized that providing a secure settlement service for the auctions was as important as the auction itself - complementary services that combined become the "killer app".

    Microsoft did this once upon a time by providing Windows and Microsoft Office as the one-two punch of the "killer" business application. Now the world has moved on, and Microsoft needs new mountains of cash to mine.

    Will a Microsoft-Yahoo axis turn the tide against the Google juggernaut? I seriously doubt it: neither party brings anything new to the table, and both have failed to manage a paradigm shift based on portals. Indeed, the Yahoo! portal is mostly used by the AT&T (er, at&t) customers that get it as their default web page with their broadband service. Not branding here, just convenience. And the Microsoft ownership of Yahoo! may jeopardize even this tenuous toe-hold with at&t.

    No, this isn't a move by MS to leverage Yahoo! for something new: it's a salvage operation to take over Yahoo!'s customers to infuse Microsoft's flagging online customer base with new blood. Maybe Microsoft HAS learned a lesson in all this: it's better to be a poor second to Google in the search market, but OWN that second place securely than to spend the time and effort to fight for second place and possibly losing everything.

    (Empty mug ==> coat ==> door ==> light up ciggy...)

  3. Alan Donaly


    Exactly I agree but I think it's all going to fall apart anyway MS has no expertise in this field it's why they are a distant third they want the customers the customers don't want them (or they would have used them now wouldn't they) Oh well it's sad to see an old brand go away but they couldn't make it work so they are toast.

  4. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    Not getting IT

    "Microsoft has a track record of "not getting" it when it comes to building and supporting online services, from the early days of SGI's mighty Rick Belluzzo taking Microsoft's internet helm to the snotty nosed de-activation of measly-sized Hotmail email accounts."

    This paragraph and Visa between them sum up Microsoft completely. What purpose does it serve to remove a site from MSN? Or is there a clause that advertisers can sue them if they leave a dead site up?

    How much does it cost to keep someone's e-mail account open?

    And who the hell decided that pushing DRM was a Microsoft responsibility? WTF did they think they were doing when they designed that fault?

    So that just leaves their Office ware about to beach high and dry. You wouldn't have thought it possible a few years ago. But lacking innovation and having victims fight back...

    Someone must have forgot to grease the pot in Europe. It's not as if the British Govt couldn't have accepted some, they are as crooked as a badly bent thing.

  5. b shubin

    Tail will wag dog

    as long as MS is mostly a marketing company, you can forget that lovingly crafted proposition. the mindset is, "they will use what we sell, and we will make them like it". this worked for a while, but the system is developing friction, and shows signs of breaking down.

    i was a Rocketmail customer, then a Hotmail customer, and then a Microsoft customer (not willingly, mind you); now i'm a Hotmail Live subscriber (yep, it costs), and i plan to drop the account as soon as i pull all the messages off it.

    what got me started in my switch to UNIX (after 15 years supporting and certifying on MS) was the utter crap that Hotmail became after MS switched it over to Win2000 Server from BSD (which is what Hotmail originally used). the idea was very counterintuitive: "how can free software be better than professionally developed commercial products?" over the last few years, i have turned fully to the Dark Side (Mac is Darth Vader, BSD is the immortal Emperor, Linux is the Imperial Fleet, i think), got training and certs in it, and am never going back.

    if MS purchases Yahoo, i will drop that account as well, this time in advance, because i don't want to wind up with yet ANOTHER email account that requires MS software to retrieve and archive email (Hotmail Live is like that - no POP access available). and if i have to go through another UNIX-to-MS back-end migration (Yahoo runs BSD, last time i checked), i will be sorely pissed off.

  6. Chris

    Not a chance

    Why would anyone want to switch to Microsoft online apps? I don't know, and neither do they probably... Anything of theirs you would want to use is just there to tie you in with their OS and Office bundle. Once you taste the freedom of using open, cross-platform stuff, there is no way back really, unless you suddenly become thick.

    Can't say I really care about Yahoo! being taken over by MS, as I don't use their sites either. As far as competing with Google, I don't think MS has what it takes, unless they can start thinking differently (no pun intended).

    I'm perfectly happy with my Mac and Linux computers and online email from Google, Browsersync add-on for Firefox, calendar, maps, etc... Can't see that change easily in the near future.

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