Microsoft Buying Yahoo!?
This speculative news is all over everything (which may mean nothing, as last I checked eBay still hadn’t bought StumbleUpon) – that Microsoft is looking into a merger with Yahoo!. Yeah, that’s huge.
Microsoft is still wildly profitable. They have the cash, and seem hungry to make a statement that they can make huge purchases just like Google (as in YouTube, DoubleClick).
But my armchair gut reaction is, this looks infinitely better for Microsoft than Yahoo!. A merger with Microsoft doesn’t look like it would solve any of the problems raised by the infamous peanut-butter manifesto. If anything, Yahoo! needs less bureaucracy, not more.
And personally, Microsoft + Yahoo! would be a bummer from my point of view. Yahoo! was one of the few Web 1.0 survivors along with Amazon, eBay, and Google. It has made some interesting Web 2.0 purchases, giving legitimacy to Flickr, MyBlogLog, del.icio.us, etc. The Yahoo! story is classic Silicon Valley: two students building a media empire out of a nutty technology idea. But I think what really bugs me is Yahoo! may have no choice but to merge, if their current turn around continues to deliver mixed results.
Obviously, I have biases, in that I’m more pro-Yahoo! and Google than I am Microsoft. Maybe Google will step in and buy Yahoo! instead. So I’ll be quiet now. Let the bidding war begin.
Additional Reading: Scott Rosenberg, Mashable, Marketing Pilgrim, Susan Mernit