back to article Ballmer: People don't 'get' Microsoft's Yahoo! marriage

Steve Ballmer has had to sell Microsoft's search and advertising marriage with Yahoo! to financial hawks baffled by the deal. Microsoft's chief executive told investors and analysts Wednesday "nobody gets" the deal because it's "a little bit complicated". The chief source of that confusion? No acquisition was made and the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Oh... Ya-Bing now. Right.

    Too complicated for me to understand, I'm afraid. I suppose I'd better stick with Google.

  2. ROlsen
    Jobs Horns


    At first Yahoo makes some money on this deal. Then, as MS presents search results, they also provide all of the other things Yahoo currently provides, and gives user option to reset home page. Voila - Yahoo "customer" base "purchased" at a fraction of the cost.

  3. Doug Glass
    Thumb Down


    "Smoke and Mirrors" People didn't "get" Bernie Maddoff either; they just trusted him and we see where that went.

    Thumbs down because SB obviously believes if you can't convince them; confused them.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah, yes, synergy

    Many's the time I rue failing to invest in synergy back when it was worth little more than the paper it was written on. If nothing else, I would have a big pile of paper.

  5. bobdevis

    Desperate move?

    Here is my speculation;

    Bing is failing miserably and MS is so desperate to increase it's market share they are prepared to throw a lot of cash at Yahoo to buy it's market share.

    I base this on 2 things:

    1. The last semi-reliable market share figures I have seen suggest that Bing has only 0.5 to 1% more market share then Live+MSN had before the launch. You have to keep in mind that Bing had a lot of press coverage and there was (is?) a big marketing campaign.

    2. This Yahoo deal seems to have been forged AFTER the introduction of Bing, as a contingency plan.

  6. The Dorset Rambler


    “The greatest source of wealth creation is being in the right market early enough. If you aren’t in early enough, you aren’t going to grow with the market.”

    Correct me if I am wrong, but is that exactly where they are? Playing catchup.

    OTOH, as a user of Google AdWords, I kinda like a serious competitor. It might drive ppc costs south - which would be a very good thing.

    So, judgement suspended, for the moment.

  7. SirTainleyBarking

    Corporate bollockspeak 101

    I'm not sure Ballmer actually understands what he's talking about, and lets be honest about this.

    After the last year of corporate and banking failure due to arrangements that even the combined minds of Einstein and Stephen Hawking couldn't fathom out, the Real World Investors (TM) will be rather suspicious

  8. Charles Manning

    Ballmer predicts own failure

    "The greatest source of wealth creation is being in the right market early enough. If you aren’t in early enough, you aren’t going to grow with the market."


    So why bother with Zune or bing?

    The only way to successfully enter a market which is already established is to come up with a very significant disruptor. Half-baked "me toos" and "me threes" like Zune and bing don't cut it.

    XBox worked, to the extent it has, because MS poured huge money into it and subsidized the hell out of the operation.

    What meds is he on? I want some.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Mr. Ballmer, at the risk of sounding serious

    If you sugar coat two turds, at the end of the day they're still turds. Now, move the clock ahead ten years, what do you have? Assuming they haven't been recycled by nature, through natural selection, you probably have two ten year old, petrified turds.

    Microsoft got their arses handed to them by several other companies, in several different verticals. Move on and focus on what you do adaquately.

  10. Michael Overton


    I'm surprised anybody would actually be surprised by this deal. Microsoft doesn't "get" the internet, and never has. Yahoo is loosing ground, steadily. Together Microsoft has a bigger market than their "bing" marketing could ever hope to reach. Merger and cash are the only weapons they have, and Yahoo is just plain desperate to stay relevant.

  11. AmbroseKrave
    Gates Halo

    Hmm, Dear Mr. Ballmer

    We still don't get why the hell are you still the CEO of the biggest tech company on the planet.

    So there.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    XBox worked, to the extent it has, because Microsoft are very careful to never mention the word 'Microsoft' when referring to it.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Is he really that dumb?

    How on earth could one of the worlds most smartest business men (Bill Gates) hand over the reigns of Microsoft (one of the worlds biggest companies) to an imbecile like Steve Ballmer.

    He has come out time and time again with ridiculously stupid comments, actions and predictions that it seems like he was put into power as a pure distraction not as a driving force.

    Now with this latest lot of comments he has proven without a doubt that he is genuinely retarded

    He is completely unoriginal, uninspired, unintelligent, unintelligible, uninitiated, uninstructed, uninterruptible and any other 'un' word applicable.

    ... and last of all he should be uninstalled as head of Microsoft.

    Being an Apple user I don't have to suffer the direct consequences of his actions but it sure is a pity that the once respectable (well slightly respectable) Microsoft has become a sham and a source of ridicule.

  14. RightPaddock

    Me Neither

    Good I'm glad there are others who don't get it either. Steve Ballmer couldn't convince me that anything he does will be helpful in restoring Microsoft to a pre-eminent position, I suspect the finance guys might have some problems on this one.

    The whole idea is MAD, of the doctrinal kind.rather than the Alfred E. Neuman kind.

    Best thing Ballmer could do would be to engineer a takeover of MSFT by IBM.

  15. Bilgepipe
    Gates Horns


    "Here is my speculation;

    Bing is failing miserably and MS is so desperate to increase it's market share they are prepared to throw a lot of cash at Yahoo to buy it's market share."

    Absolutely right, this is just to get Bing's market share into double figures. Eventually, as Yahoo continues to decline, it'll be swallowed up and Bing will magically become #2 in search. As in, literally, number two.

  16. asdf

    lol synergy

    I wonder if all this synergy Ballmer sees is as clear to him as the synergy seen by the dealmakers for AOL/Time Warner, ATI/AMD, Chrysler/Mercedes etc. Nothing f__ks over shareholders like some asshat CEO mentioning synergy as the reason for mergers and aquisitions.

  17. alistair millington
    Thumb Up

    Heres to massive disappointment

    MS try and compete against Google with MSN. Realise they just can't compete, even against the second placed search engine.

    They try again by reinventing MSN into Live or vice versa or both or something, but they reinvent both the virus that is their messenger and the rubbish login passport logic. I don't know as I don't use hotmail but it was released to be pretty and that was about it, I still can't POP3 it to my thunderbird so I don't take notice.

    MS try and reinvent - again, their search engine with bong or bing or whatever stupid catch phrase they call it. And fail again because MS still don't understand that people are already in their rut and don't want to change to a sub standard search engine with out really good reason. I didn't even know it existed until I searched MS websites for a fix for an SP3 issue, seeing bing on the MS website as their search facility. (which incidentally didn't find what I was looking for)

    This doesn't work. So MS employ their age old tactic of buying up the competition, and they buy yahoo. In some odd deal where they will then assume total control of all the yahoo customer base. (Me included)

    This applies to nearly all the MS business models, the games console, the mobile phone OS, their Mp3 player, web browser, anti spyware and viral protection etc. etc. Every market has a number one position filled with someone that does it better. Only MS bribery and lock ins make any head way into a market share.

    They should stick to their core market and concentrate on getting one product out, cheaply, working and problem free Vista and Vista 2. Instead of fifteen things badly, over priced and error ridden.

    Balmer truly is a moron and won't understand this concept, so will continue to alienate people, manufacturers, clients and share holders. Which is good news as eventually the mighty MS carcass will be picked at and replaced with proper competition between people that actually succeed.

  18. lorenzo
    Paris Hilton

    Don't buy stuff you don't understand...

    ...or can't explain

    Paris- cos even she knows how to make money from "relationships"

  19. Peter Simpson 1
    Jobs Halo

    *Somebody* doesn't "get" it

    How hard can it be to make money, when your operating system is on 80% of the desktops on the planet?

    Here's a tip, Steve: *listen* to what your customers are asking for, then deliver it. Knock off the forced upgrades, proprietary file formats, and "accidental" incompatibilities. Embrace interoperability and retain your customer base by being the best.

    Nah....I'm dreaming again.

  20. Seanie Ryan
    IT Angle


    people happily using Yahoo, getting decent result for searches , will now start getting rubbish served by by Bing and get frustrated and annoyed and try google instead to find what they are looking for.

    After about 4-5 times of this happening , they will switch full time to Google.

    Yahoo, you have just handed your client base to Google.

    Bing will end up with the remainder of people who dont know how to change their search engine and what value are they to them? They are usually the people who type the full URL into the search engine box instead of the address bar.

    Go Ballmer !!!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Zero Percent

    Zero percent market share is what they would have with Bing, if it didn't come pre-configured into IE, and they probably wouldn't do much better with that if, again, it wasn't a fait accomplais and so many people didn't know any better.

  22. Andy Barber

    Where is...

    ...amanfrommars when we need him?

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Hmmmmmm Microsoft?

    Actually Yahoo and MS collectively have some of the WORST customer service I have come across.....

    Yeah Yeah invest in Yahoo - set up an account with them..... use their software to build a site and "Yahoo Support?"

    What? (sprays cornflakes across table....)

    For all the only found "Linux is so good, because MS became insufferably bad" converts, thinks that right about now, flipping websites and taking up some serious masturbation will be good for the web IQ raising.

    Me also thinks that I'd rather PAY money to not have to tolerate or use Yahoo or Microsoft and all their stupid cheap skate "brain dead consumer" marketing bullshit.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    People do "get it"

    And they think "hmmm Windows!, prone to crash, hackable, infectable, as far up the arse of the US Gov' as you can be, bloated and prone to make wild, silly, overblown claims; and now they have a search engine?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bill G ain't that smart - and Stevie B ain't in charge

    'How on earth could one of the worlds most smartest business men (Bill Gates) hand over the reigns of Microsoft (one of the worlds biggest companies) to an imbecile like Steve Ballmer.'

    My reading is that Bill G is a nice enough bloke - but not half as smart as people assume. I've met a full-on geek - thinkgeek t-shirts, beard, mad etc - who couldn't even link SQL tables together. Bill G had a mum on the same board as an IBM VP, a lawyer dad as advisor and they had a lucky break.

    And as for his supposed technical ability - over many years I've come to realise that MS products never fail to let you down. Or if they're any good they get 'upgraded' until they're broken - think VB6 to .NET

    And Stevie isn't in control. MS is just a big money making monopoly full of lawyers and accountants who pull every trick to keep the gravy train running.

  26. George 24

    Two wrong don't make a right

    Yahoo got it wrong

    M$ got it wrong

    The marriage will not make a right, it will make it twice as bad. Google has nothing to fear.

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