Monday, February 04, 2008

Do you Yahoo! / Microsoft?

When the news surfaced last week about Microsoft's massive $42 billion bid for Yahoo!, I was not completely taken by surprise. Call me psychic, but the night before the takeover bid was announced, I was thinking: "Whatever happened to that Microsoft/Yahoo! merger?"

I am serious. I did think that.

Well, overall, I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. Being both a long time Microsoft user and Yahoo! user (heck, I can recall sitting in the Concordia University's then rudimentary computer lab, plugging away at a Lynx browser, finding something called Yahoo!), I believe the 'joining of forces' would benefit both companies.

1. Yahoo! is a very popular website. Very popular. Its brand conjures up very little public negativity. But as of late, the company has floundered. It is innovative but lack s direction, spreading itself to thin in all areas (hence that infamous Peanut Butter memo to Yahoo! employees). Worse, it cannot seem to monetize on its massive traffic and content.

2. Enter Microsoft. The company is cunning and possess the killer instincts that could revitalize Yahoo's sense of direction. Moreover, Microsoft has admitted, mainly indirectly, that it has failed to capture the online world--search, advertising--like its rival Google. Acquiring Yahoo! would certainly position Microsoft in a better place than it is now.

Will this merger really challenge Google's dominance?

The other night I wanted to embed a Google Map on a website. I read about fancy APIs and other third-party services, but all I wanted was something simple and straightforward. I visited the Google Maps website and clicked a few links until I found an embed script, which I had not seen before. A new service, I thought. Wow!! It's as though Google read my mind, knew what I wanted.

Maybe Google is psychic. Maybe that is why Google is number one.


ArchivesNext said...

Did you see the post in the Bits column at the NYTimes about the Flickr community's reaction to this?

Any thoughts about that?

dkemper said...

Thanks for pointing this article out to me. I think there were several stories circulating about Flickr users' negative reaction to a potential takeover by Microsoft.

Flickr is a beautiful service, one of those online Web 2.0 services that I actually paid money to enjoy extended features and services.

It would be sad if Flickr became part of Live Visual Studio Office 2009 Service Pack 10!! Or some MS nonsense.

The beauty of Flickr is simplicity and community. Build a social site with features, and the people will come (most of the time). Flickr was there at the right time and at the right place, just when digital cameras were falling in price and the whirl of 35mm film cameras was overtaken by the beeps of digital photography.

If this deal falls through, Microsoft better think twice about branding Flickr another MS Suite. Whenever Microsoft shoves something like the Vista OS or the old Xbox to the community, it fails. Whenever it listens and builds to people's needs, like Xbox 360 (God, there are few examples!), it succeeds.

about the author

I am an information professional, researcher, and writer with over eight years experience in the information services field with experience in information and communication technology.

I have a B.A. in History and a Master's in Library and Information Studies and working on a Web and Multimedia Design certificate.

I believe that empowering people with information can enrich lives and transform the world.