Early Friday morning Microsoft made an unsolicited bid to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion. The goal? Microsoft wants to bring Google down and thinks that Yahoo's huge traffic numbers might help.
How does all this affect us, the web surfers? It's more than a stock portfolio issue. Hundreds of millions of people rely on dozens of Yahoo! web services, any one of which could change significantly under Microsoft ownership. The Yahoo! name is valuable, so don't expect your email address to disappear, but the feel of many Yahoo!-run websites (including Flickr and del.icio.us) could change significantly if the merger goes through. An unsuccessful merger could be disastrous, driving more users to Google. Click continue to read recent vehement views reflecting on the merger and its likely consequences.
"Y! has already done much damage Flickr… imagine how unrecognizable Flickr will be in a short time after it has been raided, dissembled and left to rot by the Evil Overlords of Microsoft. Protest this loud and hard…" , Flickr. The above image is by another Flickr user, Gnal.
Microsoft is for business, Yahoo is for leisure— like Xbox and Zune
"How will Microsoft Corp.'s proposed acquisition of Yahoo Inc. affect computer users? It will help marry an individual's technology habits in the office with those of the habits in their home." , The Wall Street Journal
Microsoft's not great at integrating its hip purcahses
"When it comes to building or acquiring hip, community-focused websites, Microsoft has fumbled where Yahoo has thrived… In addition, Yahoo services like Upcoming and del.icio.us also have a strong following among the Web 2.0 crowd, an audience Microsoft’s competing services— Windows Live Local and Windows Live Favorites— has failed to attract." , Wired
Look out Google!
"This easily throws a 900-pound monkey wrench into Google's quest for global dominance for all things online." , Forbes.com
Nah, Google's got nothing to worry about
"Neither company has been able to compete well over the past 8 years. Why will combining them magically fix any of it?" , Bits
Culture Shock Alert
"Those PC-Mac TV ads aren't just amusing vignettes of one company tweaking another. They also play off (and attempt to reinforce) the perceived canyon in corporate cultures between Microsoft and Apple. Now Microsoft gets to deal, in the real word, with the potential clash in cultures and operating styles between Redmond and Silicon Valley. Good luck." , The Seattle Post Intelligencer
The companies' parts are delicate, difficult to run, and don't have the latest technology
"For Microsoft, trying to build a new Internet portal-search engine-advertising network-cloud computing company will be trying to make a new interplanetary spaceship out of an old Soyuz capsule and Skylab while hurtling through the cosmos. The parts are temperamental; the systems are delicate; and the risk of catastrophic failure is ever-present." , The New York Times
Google will still make the best software
"The essential problem is that what Microsoft and Yahoo lack, and what Google's got in spades, can't be gained through merger. Google's secret to success is not so secret at all. It has created the ultimate expression of Silicon Valley capitalism— a company of engineers, a firm that elevates technical innovation as its core mission." , Salon.com