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Google And Microsoft Cross Swords Over Yahoo! 181

Posted by Zonk
from the just-a-tiny-bit-biased dept.
watzinaneihm writes "In a blog post Google has called Yahoo/Microsoft merger bad for the future of the internet. It is worried about the number of email and IM accounts this merged entity would control. Microsoft has countered with the argument that Google is actually the big bully in this instance, with most of the search market already tied up. The New York Times, in the meantime, has accused Google of a Microsoft fixation."
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Google And Microsoft Cross Swords Over Yahoo!

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  • Microsoft fixation? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Loibisch (964797) on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:12AM (#22289794)

    The New York Times, in the meantime, has accused Google of a Microsoft fixation.
    It's more like Ballmer has a Google fixation. Microsoft really can't stand being second to anybody in any field...
    • by techpawn (969834) on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:17AM (#22289814) Journal
      Not really sure it would be a fixation, maybe a kind of envy complex... When you see something and wonder why you don't have it too you develop a complex of envy to obtain it in one way or another... Right Sigmund?
      • by dhavleak (912889) on Monday February 04, 2008 @09:59AM (#22290924)
        Microsoft has a google fixation? Or envy complex??

        MS woke up late to the internet. Once they woke up, their attempts at gaining a foothold were more or less unsuccessful. The offer on Yahoo is just them realizing that their web strategy needs a course correction pronto. They've built a good search engine (live.com) and ad-platform, but they can't monetize it right now because nobody goes there. Acquiring Yahoo is one of they ways to solve that problem. Yahoo has other assets that will tie in well with a software+services strategy.

        It's really that simple. MS realizes that its business model is under threat, and it's making adjustments before the pain is felt rather than after. No fixation, no envy -- just business as usual.
        • by jo42 (227475)

          MS realizes that its business model is under threat

          They, Microsoft, are still missing the cause. They are under threat because of who and what they are. Buying Yahoo will not fix things. It will make things even worse for them. If this happens, people will leave Yahoo services in droves because the big bully monopolist, aka Evil Empire, bought them out.

          If I had the capital, and this buy out was to proceed, I would do my damndest to build a Yahoo replacement as fast as possible by hiring away their best and brightest.

          • They, Microsoft, are still missing the cause. They are under threat because of who and what they are. Buying Yahoo will not fix things. It will make things even worse for them. If this happens, people will leave Yahoo services in droves because the big bully monopolist, aka Evil Empire, bought them out.

            Are you really that deluded that you think the average person dislikes Microsoft on a moral level? Some people may be annoyed with Windows or other MS products, but most people wouldn't have any objection to using a Microsoft project based solely on the fact that it's a Microsoft product.

            Remember, what is a self-evident truth to you is not to everyone. The anti-Microsoft sentiment is almost exclusive to the geek crowd, which is a teeny tiny minority, and it's hardly universal among even us.

          • by hedwards (940851)

            They, Microsoft, are still missing the cause. They are under threat because of who and what they are. Buying Yahoo will not fix things. It will make things even worse for them. If this happens, people will leave Yahoo services in droves because the big bully monopolist, aka Evil Empire, bought them out.

            Strange, I thought that Google with ~60% of the market share in searches and the most popular online advertising service. The company that just bought out the largest rival and the search engine that most optimized sites optimize for placement on first. I would have thought they were the big bad monopolists.

            Sorry, my bad, because obviously with this new MSN-Yahoo hybrid people will be forced to use a substandard search engine. It all makes sense now.

        • "No fixation, no envy -- just business as usual." We know what Steve Ballmer thinks of Google: Ballmer Throws A Chair At "F*ing Google" [battellemedia.com].

          Quotes:

          At that point, Mr. Ballmer picked up a chair and threw it across the room hitting a table in his office. Mr. Ballmer then said: "Fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy. I'm going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill Google." ....

          Thereafter, Mr. Ballmer resumed trying to persuade me to stay... A
        • Dead souls (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Serious Callers Only (1022605) on Monday February 04, 2008 @01:00PM (#22294064)
          MS woke up late to the internet. Once they woke up, their attempts at gaining a foothold were more or less unsuccessful.

          Indeed. However this move is possibly their most bone-headed reaction yet. I have no doubt it's straight from the brain of Steve I'm going to fucking kill Google [smh.com.au] Ballmer. Acquiring Yahoo is another attempt to tame the internet and tie it to Windows services, and it will fail as dismally as the last few attempts, because the internet (and Yahoo) is the antithesis of Microsoft.

          Users on the web don't like being 'monetized' unless there's something in it for them, and they'll resist attempts by MS to change that balance of power. Those attempts by MS to exploit users are inevitable because it's just not in Ballmer's (or Microsoft's) DNA to let users get something for nothing.

          For Microsoft as a company, swallowing Yahoo whole is going to create many more problems than it solves. It will drive the good engineers to Google (very few of Yahoo's people could thrive under the entirely different MS culture), it'll give Microsoft lots of new properties which directly compete with their own offerings, it'll make all the MS Live employees very nervous and trigger more internal turf wars, and finally, it will land MS with servicing lots of disgruntled users on services like Flickr who will desert in droves at the first attempt to corral them into an MS only internet (as MS is prone to do - see ActiveX, IE, Silverlight, etc). Their business model (lock in the users and milk them for profits) isn't under threat, it's past its sell by date; you can't continually abuse your users forever and expect them never to walk away, particularly not if you're trying to operate as a web services company, and I have my doubts that Ballmer et al will ever learn this lesson. They've done too well in the past by applying it to abandon it now.

          Still, if you don't work at Yahoo, and you're not keen on Microsoft dominating yet another market, this foolish move is heartening news. Google must be celebrating the beginning of the end of the dark ages of the internet. This will tie up MS for years.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by thedlw (1007823)
      Amen to that. What would happen if linux replaced windows as the dominant desktop platform? Microsoft would start sueing anyone or go buy up ubuntu just to stamp microsoft on it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Loibisch (964797)
        The day they're buying Ubuntu (and make a *nix based system part of their supported portfolio) would be the day that marks their end. Microsoft would be losing their most prized possession: their locked-in market.
        • by rcamera (517595)
          you mean like in the '80s [wikipedia.org]?
        • by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao@nosPAm.hotmail.com> on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:38AM (#22289964) Homepage

          The day they're buying Ubuntu (and make a *nix based system part of their supported portfolio) would be the day that marks their end.
          They had one before. Ever heard of Xenix?
          • by Loibisch (964797)

            Ever heard of Xenix?

            Nope, I had not till now. However this was a long time ago and they did not really have the market dominance they have today.
            So this time, with reasonably mass-compatible alternative operating systems, it might actually lead to them losing their market once and for all.
            It's all wishful thinking though since the day MS will start shipping a *nix Kernel as their next "Windows" will be the day either hell freezes over or Ballmer will stop acting like a 12 year old spoiled brat.

            • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Monday February 04, 2008 @09:43AM (#22290628) Homepage Journal

              . However this was a long time ago and they did not really have the market dominance they have today.
              You kids! Haven't you ever heard of MS-DOS [wikipedia.org]? MS-DOS was the dominant operating system for PCs in the 1980s. Contrary to popular belief among people who are either too young to remember or were too computer illiterate in the 1980s to remember, Microsoft did not build its monopoly on Windows. The Microsoft juggernaut built its multi-billion dollar empire not on Windows, but on MS-DOS. Now you kids get off my lawn!
              • by Loibisch (964797)
                Contrary to what you're assuming I have actually used MS-DOS. What I was trying to say however was that back in the pre-Windows days Microsoft didn't nearly have the crushing power they have today. It's all been scaled up a lot since the 80s...plus it has become a lot more religious than back then.
                • Despite occasional ad hominem suggestions to that effect in forums (usually just to discredit anyone with a preference at all), I haven't seen any evidence that OS issues have become "religious" AT ALL, could you back that up with some evidence? There are sure a lot of ignorance-based preferences, but not knowing better is completely different to a religious approach.
          • Well, that explains some of the hatred I've seen expressed in a.s.r over the PDP-11, I never realized the OS was an MS product.
    • by somersault (912633) on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:19AM (#22289832) Homepage Journal
      Maybe they just have nice people at Google who have noticed that Microsoft is ruining the world of computing and that we could do with competition and/or replacement in several areas.
    • by paiute (550198)
      The New York Times, in the meantime, has accused Google of a Microsoft fixation.

      Is that the Soviet Russia New York Times?
    • by morcego (260031)

      Microsoft really can't stand being second to anybody in any field...

      Ok, I'm as much as a Microsoft hater as the next /. guy, but c'mon. Microsoft is second (or 3rd) to a lot of other companies on a lot of fields.

      The point here is that Microsoft is (correctly) worried about fighting a war on 2 fronts. This is Marketing 101. It is actually cheaper for Microsoft to buy one of them, and to try and fight both.

      MS buying Yahoo will be bad for us all. As was said before, it reduces competition and the pressure for

  • ...I'm actually going to have to side with Microsoft on this one. On rather, I'm going to side with no one. The idea that this would make Microsoft a bigger "monopoly" is unfounded because neither Microsoft nor Yahoo! has anywhere close to the highest marketshare of online searches or advertising. If we're so concerned about monopolies, competition in the field can only be a good thing. And at the rate it was going, unless something like this happened, no one would ever be able to stop Google.
    • by dattaway (3088)
      So if I understand you correctly, the way for a monopoly to be stopped is to have a competing monopoly buy its nearest competitor?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        So if I understand you correctly, the way for a monopoly to be stopped is to have a competing monopoly buy its nearest competitor?

        Monopoly. As in one. This means there can only be one at a time. EVAR. Get some education, boi.
        • "...there can be only one..."

          Does this mean we will get to see Ballmer and Page battle it out with swords in a Vancouver alley? Please?

      • the way for a monopoly to be stopped is to have a competing monopoly buy its nearest competitor?

        The more companies sharing the market, the better for the market. The less companies, the worse.

        Right now, with the three companies separate, we see quite some innovation, they're competing trying to bring better products to the market, which Google is certainly doing (see the way GMail brought something completely different from what was there), Yahoo also to some extent, and Microsoft is struggling trying to keep their OS lock-in, but bringing products to the market at the same time.

        If Microsoft buy

      • by nschubach (922175)
        Actually, I've seen a lot of this kind of backwards reasoning. Just because one part market is not dominated by the monopolist of another industry, it's fair for the monopolist to step in and try to take over market share for said second industry? Wouldn't that give more power to the monopolist? The minute they stop looking at it from the corporate perspective and looking at it from the division perspective, they lose all rationale.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by somersault (912633)
      I'm not so sure anyone has a fear of monopolies, as long as they do a decent job. The thing is that when someone/something lacks any competition they tend to lose their drive to better themselves, or maybe just don't realise how much potential they have to better themselves, and the direction to proceed in.
      • by mgblst (80109)
        Just as no one has a fear of living next to a murderer, until they start, you know, murdering people.

        People fear Monopolies rightly. The Soviet Union was a monopoly. China used to be a monopoly, but is less so. People fear monopolies becuase if you don't like them, there is nothing you can do, you can't change who you use, because there is no one else.
        • I would call those more dictatorships. I am aware of the downsides of having only one option, but I was saying that as long as that option is good, then nobody will care. Humanity being what it is, then most likely things will go downhill unless that option is strictly regulated or faces competition. At least when it comes to a monopoly on a certain product, you can choose not to buy the product if you have that much of a problem with it - when it comes to your leaders having a monopoly, your only choice is
    • by jez9999 (618189) on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:39AM (#22289974) Homepage Journal
      Screw whether anyone has a monopoly in the search market; Google frankly deserve that monopoly (not exactly at Windows levels, though; only 75%) because they're THE BEST SEARCH ENGINE.

      Now, if Google bought out Yahoo instead, that would be likely to lead a a lot of positive things:
      - Some degree of maintenance of the Yahoo brand (MS would obliterate it)
      - Promotion of backend opensource architecture (MS would enforce MS products)
      - Less likelihood of services being charged for (MS would ruthlessly monetize all Yahoo services as much as possible)

      Frankly, I just hate Microsoft's whole money-making diversity-killing business ethos, and you have to realise that a MS buyout of Yahoo would be a pretty terrible thing. :-(
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Aqualung812 (959532)

        Google frankly deserve that monopoly (not exactly at Windows levels, though; only 75%) because they're THE BEST SEARCH ENGINE.

        Says jez9999. What if 75% of computer users said that Windows is the best OS? My guess is they might, if for no other reason that lack of trying other OSes. Does that make all of the MS monoploy talk invalid now? Or, does that at least mean that MS deserves their monopoly? Sounds like you think so.

        • by BeanThere (28381) on Monday February 04, 2008 @10:43AM (#22291768)
          It's a thousand times easier to switch search engines than it is to switch OSs. Google grew very quickly (from nothing) BECAUSE it's such a fungible product and they were so much better. A better search engine could just as easily grab that share away again. (You can't argue 'but, but, value of Google brand' either because Google's brand only became valuable after their search engine became popular, people don't get locked into "brands". And in any case, MS and Yahoo both have well-known brands.)

          In any case, Google's product isn't a search engine, it's online advertising. And also, in any case, it is pretty much hard to argue that Google gained their search monopoly by making the best mousetrap, and that Microsoft gained their Windows monopoly by strategy, lock-in, user ignorance and marketing. It doesn't invalidate anything, wtf!??!
          • I am just challenging the idea that someone deserves a monopoly.

            You're points are correct, it is much easier for people to switch search engines, and all must innovate or die. Remember AltaVista? However, I don't understand why Google or anyone else cares of MS buys Yahoo. As you just pointed out, Google got their business by building a better mousetrap. Why would MS buying Yahoo have anything to do with that?

            Google released a statement saying that the government should look into the whole thing bet

            • by BeanThere (28381)
              I don't know about 'deserving' a monopoly per se, I read it more as, they 'won their monopoly fair and square', i.e. best mousetrap and all that, and hence 'deserved' it as in 'earned' it, not the 'have a right to it' sense.

              I honestly don't know enough about Yahoo to comment too deeply on what an MS/Yahoo deal would really mean - Yahoo is almost a non-entity to me personally, but seemingly they still have a pretty big e-mail userbase and the second-most popular search engine in the US, so I guess that if MS
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by sexconker (1179573)
            Google grew quickly because, in the age of dial up modems, all that mattered was how fast your page loaded and how many results you returned.
      • Google frankly deserve that monopoly

        What Google deserves is the market leader position (they are currently in). But not a monopoly. Monopoly means abusing the market and destroying competition.

        Google for president? Yes.

        Google for tyrant? No thanks.
    • The idea that this would make Microsoft a bigger "monopoly" is unfounded because neither Microsoft nor Yahoo! has anywhere close to the highest marketshare of online searches or advertising.

      Well, ok, but isn't the true fear that they'll have the ammunition to slowly eat their way into another monopoly position?

      Imagine in five years a world where Microsoft handles 60% of search traffic. The screws start turning from that point and there's no going back, just like Windows.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by AdamReyher (862525) *

        Imagine in five years a world where Microsoft handles 60% of search traffic. The screws start turning from that point and there's no going back, just like Windows.

        How, exactly, is Microsoft having 60% of the search engine marketshare going to be a point of no return? Meanwhile, Google is sitting over there with the overwhelming majority, and 95% of all new PCs have Internet Explorer installed using MSN or Yahoo! as the default search engine, yet people still use Google. In order for Microsoft to get to th

        • Agreed, if they didn't own the desktop monopoly. They'd be just another Yahoo. But they can control the address bar on their desktops in that Yahoo's mass would be truly redirected into IE/Windows this time, not just a toolbar or a dropdown for selecting Yahoo search that no one notices. There are lots of "innovative" ways to hook users beyond their past attempts like brain-dead proprietary logins.

          Back to the point, if the purchase of Yahoo eventually results in some tipping point within search, how do y
    • by ricebowl (999467)

      And at the rate it was going, unless something like this happened, no one would ever be able to stop Google.

      Does Google need to be 'stopped'? Really? I thought the purpose of competition in the market was not to 'stop' a business but to spur innovation and development to the better-satisfaction of the consumer.

      While, for online advertising, the consumer is not the customer (for Google at least the customers are the businesses purchasing ad-space), the consumer still has the power, through use or non-use,

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hey! (33014)
      The problem isn't monopoly per se. The problem is the use of a monopoly in one area to leverage competitors out of a different one. It's hardly a victory for competition if Microsoft integrates Yahoo services with Windows and forces every OEM to bundle them.

      If Microsoft was offering to spin off MSN and merge it with Yahoo, I'd be all for it.

    • by syzler (748241) <davidNO@SPAMsyzdek.net> on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:56AM (#22290084)
      The idea that this would make Microsoft a bigger "monopoly" is unfounded because neither Microsoft nor Yahoo! has anywhere close to the highest marketshare of online searches or advertising.

      While I agree that Google almost certainly has the lion's share of searches, the article specifically mentioned IM and e-mail. The majority of the non-techy people I know use either MSN, Yahoo!, or AIM for instant messaging and e-mail. The only people I know using Google Talk are my co-workers and one of my non-techy friends.

      Microsoft will probably not be very willing to work with Google to integrate Google Talk with either MSN IM or Yahoo IM. This will effectively split IM into two camps. In one camp there will be MSN IM and Yahoo! IM. In the other camp you will have Google Talk, AIM, and .Mac. Somewhere between the two camps, probably closer to the the Google/AIM/.Mac camp, will be Jabber services.

      Google is already working to integrate Google Talk with AIM: Time Warner's AOL and Google to Expand Strategic Alliance [google.com]. AIM and .Mac are already talking together: iChat [apple.com]. Since Jabber already works with Google Talk, I would not be surprised if the integration between Google Talk and AIM is done via a Jabber server to server interface which would allow Jabber servers to talk to the AIM network as well.

      From Google's blog:

      Could a combination of the two take advantage of a PC software monopoly to unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access competitors' email, IM, and web-based services?

      I too am afraid that Microsoft will attempt to quash any attempts to provide inter operability between different IM providers and will likely succeed since it will control the lion's share of IM accounts. Although Google has the lion's share of the search market, they at least provide or try to provide inter operability with other companies and do not try to lock competitors out of a particular business model.

      • by pthor1231 (885423)

        I too am afraid that Microsoft will attempt to quash any attempts to provide inter operability between different IM providers and will likely succeed since it will control the lion's share of IM accounts. Although Google has the lion's share of the search market, they at least provide or try to provide inter operability with other companies and do not try to lock competitors out of a particular business model.

        While not having interoperability between IM clients sucks, thats still not limiting consumer's a

      • Just something that I have not seen noted anywhere yet, but google's dominance of the search market is earned and is also fragile. I remember using yahoo and thinking it was great, then I moved over to AltaVista, then onto google, my loyalty only exists as long as I do not find a better way of getting the answers I want.

        Google is my preferred search engine and has been almost exclusively for quite some time now, but I am not tied to them in the same way I am with email and instant messaging. The potential m
      • Google Talk is Jabber.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The concern isn't that Google has a lot of the search engine market, the concern is that Microsoft, who is an OS monopoly and a former (and still near) browser monopoly, will use their monopoly in adjacent markets to attack the the search engine market.

      Having a monopoly is fine, abusing it isn't. Google (if you call 2/3rds a monopoly) hasn't been shown to abuse its position, while Microsoft has in the past and very well might again.
    • by stony3k (709718)
      Keep in mind that there are areas where Microsoft and Yahoo combined could become a monopoly or at least very large - IM and mail. Almost everyone here is missing the danger in the IM space. With AIM's share dwindling, a combination of Yahoo and Messenger's market share (especially globally) could spell trouble for open protocols (like XMPP). IMHO, that would stifle innovation.

      Even in the web mail arena, Yahoo and Hotmail together constitute a majority of web mail accounts. If MS were to introduce addition
  • Competition (Score:5, Insightful)

    by caution live frogs (1196367) on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:18AM (#22289830)
    I love how Microsoft's take on the merger is that it will create more competition. Why is it that any time a big company swallows a smaller one, we're told that having fewer players in the field will increase competition? Do people actually buy that line of bull? Someone get these guys a dictionary.
    • Re:Competition (Score:4, Insightful)

      by h4rm0ny (722443) on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:30AM (#22289922) Journal

      In this instance, it may not be accurate to say that a big company is swallowing a smaller one. In this case, it might be more accurate to say they are rescuing it. Obviously Yahoo wasn't going to vanish, but in terms of search engine usage, it's nowhere close to Google. This might boost that area and introduce a real rival to Google. In which case it really will increase competition.
      • Re:Competition (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Monday February 04, 2008 @09:00AM (#22290108)
        Obviously Yahoo wasn't going to vanish, but in terms of search engine usage, it's nowhere close to Google.

        Right, which is why a long time ago Yahoo began to diversify their offerings. They're not #1 in any field, but they are reasonably strong players in a dozen or so other fields.
        • Google are diversifying faster, wider and with more innovation than yahoo. What new services/products/programs has yahoo introduced in the last 2 years? Anything that has the wow factor of, say, Google Earth, maps, Android?
      • by Dhalka226 (559740)
        It really depends on how "increase competition" is defined. More distinct competitors is MORE competition, but this merger theoretically could provide STRONGER competition. (We'll see if it actually does.)
  • ...normally marry, don't they?

    While it's obvious that MS has a certain fixation with Google - the new kids on the block - I'm also sure that it flows the other way too. Microsoft have developed core markets that Google is moving into, which I would wager is what got them rattled initially. However, with MS potentially buying Yahoo, the table does turn slightly and it becomes a case of MS parking their tanks on Google's lawn.

    And there isn't anyone else out there big enough to do that to be honest... althou
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:24AM (#22289858) Journal
    MSFT countered the Google announcement that, "What Google is doing is throwing some FUD. Trying to scare people using monopoly, proprietary and other such terms. MSFT considers this tactic illegal, since we have innovated, invented and patented the FUD technique. We consider all forms of FUD dissemination to be an exclusive intellectual property right of MSFT and nobody else has any legitimate claim to it. We will add this to the tally to 293 patent violations against MSFT by Linux and its accomplice Google."
  • When GOOG starts crying about competition, for whatever reason, you know that Web 2.0 is facing some serious issues. They should actually *want* the competition because they know that competition keeps them pushing hard to innovate.

    Look, GOOG owns both search and online advertising right now. Not, not 100% "owns" but the marketshare for both is well over 50%.

    Oh, and take a look at GOOG's share price:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=GOOG&t=5y [yahoo.com]

    They've been sliding down since about middle of November. What r
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cbart387 (1192883)

      When GOOG starts crying about competition, for whatever reason, you know that Web 2.0 is facing some serious issues.

      Is the word 'web 2.0' anything more then a buzzword to make the internet 'cool again'? Can't we just call it 'same web, but with more pain-in-the-ass javascript functions for developers to write'? Anyways ...

      It seems to me that innovation usually comes from the 'new kids on the block'. All these people are trying to predict the who's going to bring the newest idea. I don't think that's something you can predict. All the current players have done their trick and the 'newest innovation' will likely f

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:26AM (#22289880)
    So Google voice a legitimate worry about Microsoft, a company convicted of abusing its monopoly status in one market to dominate other markets, buying a company that would give them a large portion of a market and they are the bad guys in this? Lets be honest what Google is saying is the first thing that came to the minds of everyone in IT who are not on the Microsoft payroll. We all know how Microsoft works and we can all hazard a guess at what their aims are in attempting to purchase Yahoo. It is doubtful the good of the internet and consumers are particularly high on their list of priorities.
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Google couldn't expect to go on forever without any real competition (and they haven't really had any for some time now). Either they will rise to the occasion (and become even better than before) or they won't, and will falter. Either way, I don't really see it hurting me as a consumer. Even if MS/Yahoo became the new dominant kid on the block, it wouldn't be long before someone new came along gunning for them. I remember when Google was first starting out, and everyone said "No way anyone is going to knoc
  • That's why they're exiting their Internet businesses [bbspot.com]. But seriously, you'd think Google would be encouraging the merger. They can concentrate on eliminating one flailing competitor instead of two.
  • I, for one, welcome our new Yahoogle-powered Anti-Microsoft overlords.
    • by XPulga (1242)
      I find it disturbing that yahooglesoft.com has actually been registered by Yahoo in 2006:

      [Querying whois.internic.net]
      [Redirected to whois.melbourneit.com]
      [Querying whois.melbourneit.com]
      [whois.melbourneit.com]

      Domain Name.......... yahooglesoft.com
      Creation Date........ 2006-11-16
      Registration Date.... 2006-11-16
      Expiry Date.......... 2008-11-16
      Organisation Name.... Yahoo! Inc.
      Organisation Address. 701 First Avenue
      Organisation Address.
      Organisation Address. Sunnyvale
      Organisation Address. 94089
      Organis

  • Fixation? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:37AM (#22289956)
    Google has a Microsoft fixation? Ok, I'm not willing to argue that, but I think the fixation railroad runs both ways. It's pretty obvious that Microsoft is more than a little pre-occupied with Google.
  • by alexhs (877055) on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:43AM (#22289988) Homepage Journal

    Google has called Yahoo/Microsoft merger bad for the future of the internet
    Yeah, but who wants an Internet anyway ? Certainly not Microsoft, MPAA or RIAA...

    Microsoft would prefer a controlled^Wsecured Microsoft(r) Inter-Network, let's call it MSN for short :P
  • Whatever... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fearlezz (594718) on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:55AM (#22290076) Homepage
    in a few years Google is buying Microsoft anyway.
  • Microsoft is the guys here with the massive OEM deals to push their products onto the market, and using the economy gained from that to make "impossible" deals when they're thirsty of making a deal.

    What has Google made? The main things would be... A search engine that beats the pants off Microsoft, designed while they were still a startup company? It hasn't really evolved much since that (actually that's a bit to my dismay). Oh, and their ads. Thanks to their (mostly) text-based ads, they found a niche and
    • Google is a big player, but only in search. MS is a monster everywhere. In addition, Google has NEVER screwed over a partner or misused their size. OTH, MS does nothing but.

      Overall, MS has shown that they are masters at what they do; market and spread FUD.
  • See? See? The bad guy (Microsoft) kidnaps the princess (Yahoo!) and The valiant knight (Google) comes to the rescue! And there was much epic battling. Then the princess stabbed both in the back. The end.
  • Microsoft has no interest in keeping yahoo as a distinct set of services. Every Yahoo service that has a Microsoft equivalent will be absorbed. The remains will be buried. This is just a very expensive land grab - the last echo of the dot.com boom.

    If it goes ahead it will be hugely disruptive of Microsoft as various in-house factions battle to increase their own influence and grab as much of the meat off the Yahoo bones as they can.

    • (posted something similar earlier, but I'll repeat it anyway)

      • Yahoo has more frequent visitors than any MS website
      • Yahoo has more online properties of value (games.yahoo.com, flickr, groups, launch, many more)
      • Yahoo has a waay larger employee headcount compared to MS's online business division
      • Yahoo's branding strategy and customer loyalty is waay higher.
      • The Yahoo! brand doesn't have an image problem (people like Yahoo or are more or less neutral about it)

      On the other hand..

      • MS has a huge branding pro
  • Both Google and Microsoft,if REALLY worried about who get to control what for what reasons need to follow this simple formulae.
    Both parties contribute half the money for buyout.
    Both parties agree that I will run the business favoring only my own interests.
    Both parties agree I will keep 90% of all profits.
    Both parties agree to do the same in future business squabbles.
    Ol' uncle flyneye will keep the kids from fighting and set a good moral example for both.
  • by Chrisq (894406) on Monday February 04, 2008 @09:13AM (#22290202)
    People can switch search-engines every day, but groups not so. How many groups or mailing lists do you belong to? How many of those are yahoo groups. I would be very surprised if anyone belonged to half a dozen groups or more without at least one being yahoo.

    Moving a group is difficult, and it need the owner to want to. If you are a member you could set up a rival, but the chances are you would end up talking to yourself. Now suppose those groups switched to Silverlight (for a richer user experience) and required IE7 running on windows to access. This would be a big downer for any competitive desktops.
  • a fixation.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by crossmr (957846) on Monday February 04, 2008 @09:27AM (#22290298) Journal
    if anyone in the computing industry doesn't have a Microsoft fixation, you should probably stay away from them. You never know what MS will do next and given their market share that isn't exactly something you want to be oblivious to.
  • Big, successful companies buy smaller, less successful companies with strengths in areas that they lack. It's just the nature of the market.

    Google essentially left Google Video to sleep with the innovation fishes and just threw a bunch of cash at YouTube instead, and obviously Microsoft has done this a million times before. Hell, Yahoo itself has bought smaller companies in areas where it wasn't doing well.
  • It seems that things are rumbling pretty fierce over at Yahoo! now. It definitely seems like they're ready to sell at least parts of their organization off. It was announced that Yahoo! is selling off their Yahoo! Music Unlimited service to Rhapsody: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/services/2008-02-04-yahoo-music-rhapsody_N.htm/ [usatoday.com]

    What this means is really in the eye of the beholder. Could Yahoo! want to ensure that Microsoft doesn't get a firm foot in the downloadable/streaming music business? Do t
  • But, aren't we all fixated on Microsoft? They've been the dominant force in the IT industry for the last two decades and any company ignores them at their peril, so why shouldn't Google and everyone else here be wary of their every move, especially when it's so big? You know they're up to no good. Also, Google does not have a track record that's anywhere near as controversial as Microsoft's.
  • Big bully? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BeanThere (28381) on Monday February 04, 2008 @10:31AM (#22291522)
    Google's entire annual revenue fits into Microsoft's profit margin alone. Google is small compared to Microsoft. A little hard to be the 'big bully'. And unlike Microsoft's more diversified revenue stream, Google pretty much relies on one comparatively fragile market, online advertising, a market Microsoft wasn't even interested in until long after Google dmeonstrated it could be so lucrative.

    If MS wants to beat Google at online marketing, they should offer better deals to affiliate sites and advertisers.
  • by Catbeller (118204) on Monday February 04, 2008 @10:46AM (#22291810) Homepage
    Google is right to object -- and to block by helping Yahoo -- because Microsoft is an intensively abusive monopoly by culture and history and conviction. They're the neighborhood predator, and everyone living there knows it.

    Google has become successful by being very good at what it does and does it without abusing its power. Microsoft, well, if the Gentle Reader can't recite a litany of even the most recent abuses, it's useless for me to list them. Go, Google.
  • by Tom (822)

    The New York Times, in the meantime, has accused Google of a Microsoft fixation.
    No, NYT, watching the convicted killer with the loaded gun in the corner isn't a "fixation", it's called "being careful" or, in Texas, "hating to be shot in the back".
  • I find it very hard to believe that Eric Schmidt's comments on the Microsoft/Yahoo deal are all about what's best for the Internet. Give me a break. This seems to be the first time that I sense any vulnerability from Google. They've had a very long honeymoon. Perhaps it's over? GOOG is down another $12 today and more than $200/share since mid-December. That'll put a crimp in Schmidt's airplane buying plans. Well...probalby not...but it will put a crimp in Google's ability to buy innovation.
  • Per this Bloomberg update http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=anDGP.twSjqw&refer=home [bloomberg.com] Microsoft will have to borrow money to pay for this.

    Also from the article:
    The software maker could do more than borrow to expedite the takeover. Microsoft may seek to oust Yahoo's directors should they reject the bid and offer its own slate of nominees, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified.

    Talk about hostile takeover.
    Enjoy,
  • by jetpack (22743) on Monday February 04, 2008 @01:25PM (#22294538) Homepage
    As I understand it, Microsoft intends to control Yahoo! by buying a majority share of Yahoo! stock. If that is the case, couldn't Google choose to buy just enough Yahoo! stock such that Microsoft would be incapable of purchasing a majority? Google would not then control Yahoo! but would prevent Microsoft from doing so.


    Is this a possible outcome?

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