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AOL Jumps Into the Ring with Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google 109

Posted by Zonk
from the now-we-have-a-real-fight dept.
mikkl666 writes "Even just since this morning, there's much to report in the ongoing fight between Microsoft and Yahoo!. After Yahoo! announced yesterday that they are testing Google AdSense, Microsoft reacted with a comment pointing out that 'any definitive agreement between Yahoo! and Google would consolidate over 90% of the search advertising market in Google's hands.' Ironically, they complain that 'this would make the market far less competitive.' Both companies try to team up with strong partners, as well. Yahoo! and AOL are now closing in on a deal to combine their Internet operations. And of course, this morning's news was that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. is apparently in talks for a joint bid for Yahoo!"
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AOL Jumps Into the Ring with Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google

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  • by muellerr1 (868578) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @03:22PM (#23028398) Homepage

    Yahoo! and AOL are are now closing in on a deal to combine their Internet operations.Microsoft. And of course, this morning's new was that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. is apparently in talks for a joint bid for Yahoo!
    Microsoft completely monopolized that sentence.
    • by CogDissident (951207) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @03:23PM (#23028418)
      The great slashdot editors apparently thought that Microsoft deserved an entire sentence all to itself.
      • An entire sentence from the Slashdot story, on 2008-04-10 at 12:53 PDT:

        Microsoft.

        The parent comment: "The great slashdot editors apparently thought that Microsoft deserved an entire sentence all to itself."

        LOL. It amazes me how little Slashdot editors have learned over the years. Let that be a lesson to anyone who spends time playing video games. You need all your time learning how the world works. There is no time to spend being an angry button-presser.

        Or, theory 2, maybe stories about Microsoft only need one proper noun. Articles, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs are understood. No need to repeat words like "evil", "Ballmer", "chair", "monopoly", "Chief of Grief", or "Software's Dr. Death".

        That's an idea for a story submission. The entire Slashdot story could be just one word, "Microsoft". I'm sure there would be hundreds of comments. I know I'd post my usual comment: "The problem with Vista is that buyers are becoming technically knowledgeable enough that they don't want to be beta testers of a very unfinished product that requires them to buy more powerful hardware. Remember that Windows XP Service Pack 2 was released only 3 years ago. Before that was 3 years during which every Windows XP customer was a beta tester of a very unfinished product that didn't even handle USB very well."
    • Can you say Yea! Defense!

      C'mon. Yahoo is pluckings now. Default to Google, if no Microsoft buy.
      • > Yahoo is pluckings now.

        Yup, Yahoo! is now officially dead and the buzzards are just fighting to see who gets to rip off the more choice hunks of meat from the bones.

        Sad, but everybody should have seen this coming for at least five years so it is hard to be shocked or anything.
        • `Two Men Drowning'

          ``The AOL-Yahoo thing reminds me of two men drowning, both grabbing on to each other,'' said Mike Holland, who oversees more than $4 billion at Holland & Co. in New York, including Microsoft shares. ``It usually doesn't end in a pretty way or a smart way or an effective way.''

          • AOL is just the wimpy kid who gets picked last in gym. Sort of like the wart on my big toe that never goes away, but isn't big enough for me to really notice it. Yahoo! Is more of the skanky whore who sleeps with everyone (except for the kid who gets picked last in gym). Everyone makes a pass at her, most get some attention, but you'll probably end up with something unwanted that you need to get meds to treat. The funniest thing to me is that all of my Microsoft friends (and I have a few working in Redmon
        • I like their email service; nearly everybody I know has yahoo mail accounts. But I agree that most of their offerings are completely pointless.
        • Yup, Yahoo! is now officially dead and the buzzards are just fighting to see who gets to rip off the more choice hunks of meat from the bones.

          Wow, $4 billions in profits [google.com] is dead?

          Falcon
          • by Cajun Hell (725246) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @08:39PM (#23031528) Homepage Journal
            Unsigned 32-bit wrap-around.
          • by rtb61 (674572)
            What makes the thought that Yahoo is dead even sillier, is where the hell does that leave MSN and all the money ballmer blew on creating the go no where 'Live' brand. The reality is Yahoo is the leading portal. Where you compare time spent at the site, Yahoo is ahead of google, who just wins on numbers of short visits admittedly you tube picks up some extra time for google but most of it is indirect while people are actually at other sites and often even at the Yahoo portal.

            The AOl, Newscorp stuff, is jus

            • The AOl, Newscorp stuff, is just business as usual, a means by which to force up M$ bid

              Actually News Corp proposed joining with Microsoft to buy Yahoo! "Microsoft & News Corp. Joint Bid For Yahoo" [webpronews.com]. News Corp-Microsoft talks are still going on on a joint venture to acquire Yahoo!.

              • by rtb61 (674572)
                M$ is talking but is Newscorp really listening. Why would News Corp burden itself with a known untrusted partner like M$. Look at what News Corp achieved with Myspace in a very short time.

                So does News Corp see M$/MSN as a potential partner, or a competitor to be defeated (bearing in mind News Corp is a substantial content holder and M$ is bascially a content vacuum, having failed miserably in it's attempt to create content via MSN).

                While M$ has substantial cash reserves, there is no real effective way f

                • M$ is talking but is Newscorp really listening.

                  It appears News Corp may want Yahoo! for itself:

                  "News Corp [reuters.com] continues to talk directly with Yahoo on reaching a deal without Microsoft."

                  Why would News Corp burden itself with a known untrusted partner like M$. Look at what News Corp achieved with Myspace in a very short time.

                  That might be something to look out for, a combined Myspace/Yahoo!. Though I'd prefer Yahoo! to remain independent, I can see News Corp doing something good. My 1 concern would b

    • by MWoody (222806) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @03:52PM (#23028792)
      Well, it was "fnord" originally, but MS bought them out.
    • by mikkl666 (1264656)
      I can only apologize for what was done to my original submission...
    • by poetmatt (793785)
      I before E, except after C?
    • A Google & Yahoo combination would consolidate 90% of the search and advertising business on the internet, and MS says it like it's a bad thing, but MS Windows has approximately 91.5% of the desktop OS market share, and seems to have no problem with that.

      http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=8

      The good news is that OSX is slowly gaining momentum. I see nothing wrong with Google providing Yahoo's ad service. If Google can do it better and bring in more money, then let them do what they do be

    • I missed it at first, but now that I see it I can't stop laughing. That's wonderful.

      Ooooh... *sighs* I had something to say but I can't remember it now. Microsoft. LAWL.
  • Live by Anti-trust litigation, die by anti-trust litigation.
  • "Ironically, they complain that 'this would make the market far less competitive.'"

    Ironically? I would have said "Cynically", even if for once Microsoft has a valid point!

    .
    • by esocid (946821)
      Ironically? Cynically? I'd say adverbially.
    • by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Thursday April 10, 2008 @03:38PM (#23028622) Homepage Journal
      Fsck both of those words. I would say that the word is "Karmically".
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Em Adespoton (792954)
      Surprisingly, the OP referred to irony in a correct fashion. The fact that this is called into question just shows how far popular culture has become out of touch with grammar.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Xiph1980 (944189)
        How much I sometimes might cringe at the sight of teens typing, on their defence I have to say that language is dynamic. If it's not, it's dead.
        The meaning of most words has always changed over time. Learn to live with it, or grow to be a grumpy old man.
        • Re:Ironically? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Em Adespoton (792954) <slashdotonly.1.adespoton@spamgourmet.com> on Thursday April 10, 2008 @04:33PM (#23029348) Homepage Journal
          I don't take issue with word meaning and grammar changing -- it happens all the time. I take issue with the word meaning NOT changing, but words being used in a cliche that is then misused, to the point where the word itself no longer has any actual meaning in the sentence, other than that someone thought it sounded good.

          Another example is "a tough row to hoe" (talking about potato farming) turning into "a tough road to hoe" (which makes no sense). The word "road" has not changed meaning, neither has the word "row" -- but people misuse it in a way that makes the word use and the sentence use cease to have any meaningful contribution to the conversation other than to make the speaker/writer sound more knowledgeable to those who don't know what they are actually trying to say.

          For an example of a word that has undergone a myriad of transformations over the years, look at the word "nice". For a simpler example in recent history, there's "gay". For a different kind of transformation where the activity referenced has stayed the same but the connotations have changed, look at the word "jazz".
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Digital Vomit (891734)

            Another example is "a tough row to hoe" (talking about potato farming) turning into "a tough road to hoe" (which makes no sense).

            Maybe that's really "a tough road to ho", meaning, it's a difficult street for prostitutes to earn a living on?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by pressman (182919)
        Proper use of the term irony is more a function of vocabulary and syntax than it is grammar. Grammar is merely structure whereas vocabulary and syntax cover meaning.

        True, bad grammar can mangle meaning though.
    • even more ironically,
      Microsloth seem to think that someone having a larger market share in something that it is wrong. But they seem to have forgotten that they donimate the desk top operating system market with an even larger market share than the 90% they quote for a yahoo/google merger.
      What is there to say..."big deal microsoft, if you cant stand the heat stay out of the kitchen"
      If microsloth or microsloth/newscorp buy yahoo my next action will be to close my accounts and never use a yahoo service again.
  • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @03:26PM (#23028456)
    At least with AOL+Yahoo you know that the email servers won't be swapped out just to use MS SW. And none of the Yahoo supported OSS software will be turf'd (ie. that Exchange server alternative)
    • by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @03:36PM (#23028572)
      Yea like the end user really cares what the servers are running off of. I really don't care what OS their servers are running off of just as long as their service is fast and reliable to me.

      The real issue of a MS Monopily in the search market is that they will leverage IE 7+ and Windows to get all the features leving Macs and Linux user using a Sub Par version of the web site.

      Why is MS Scared to death of google? It is because they are offering for Free off the web High Quality application that really don't care on what OS or office suite or browser you use. Grandted google docs is a bit clunky but it has potentional for greatness. And like Microsoft sucesss it just needs a competive advantage not be the best product.
      • Microsoft is afraid of moving apps off the desktop. In a world where computers boot a simple OS, then open a web browser to get all work (email, documents, spreadsheets, everything else) done scares the hell out of microsoft. That is not the business model that microsoft has been using. I don't think microsoft could switch to that kind of business model any time soon.
        • Microsoft is afraid of moving apps off the desktop. In a world where computers boot a simple OS, then open a web browser to get all work (email, documents, spreadsheets, everything else) done scares the hell out of microsoft. That is not the business model that microsoft has been using. I don't think microsoft could switch to that kind of business model any time soon.

          Luckily for Microsoft, nor can the world. If the software world turns and now marches swiftly toward browser apps, I bet it would take ten years to get to the point where it would begin to be comparable with local apps in terms of both functionality and user base.

          • Luckily for Microsoft, nor can the world. If the software world turns and now marches swiftly toward browser apps, I bet it would take ten years to get to the point where it would begin to be comparable with local apps in terms of both functionality and user base.
            Oh, it can be brought there faster, with some "improvements". Such as that "Silverlight" thingy you've heard so much about recently...
        • In a world where computers boot a simple OS, then open a web browser to get all work (email, documents, spreadsheets, everything else) done scares the hell out of microsoft. That is not the business model that microsoft has been using.

          Actually MS has been working on offering software as a service [pcworld.com] for some years. Just log into the website and there's your documents, much like Google Apps.

          Falcon

          • Except for the fact that it would need Internet Explorer to get all the features.
            • Except for the fact that it would need Internet Explorer to get all the features.

              While that would be a stupid move I can see Microsoft requiring IE for web based apps.

              Falcon
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by megaditto (982598)
      That's certainly better than Yahoo+Google merger that has EVIL written all over it.
    • by Jack9 (11421)
      My biggest fear of MS+Yahoo is how it will affect the yahoo music player. I certainly don't use a legit copy of windows (media player).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Frosty Piss (770223)

      And none of the Yahoo supported OSS software will be turf'd (ie. that Exchange server alternative)

      There are huge swaths of Open Source beyond the Exchange Server Alturnative, such as a large number of Web services and various Webby 2.0-ish type projects. Check it out here: http://developer.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com]. The code snips are extreamly valuble tutorials. All this material will either be flushed or monitized onder Microsoft...

  • by Skynet (37427) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @03:27PM (#23028466) Homepage
    It's like the bouncing yappy dog that won't go away. :)
    • by oahazmatt (868057) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @03:38PM (#23028620) Journal

      It's like the bouncing yappy dog that won't go away. :)
      The one in the Windows XP File Search window?
      • by mtmra70 (964928)

        It's like the bouncing yappy dog that won't go away. :)

        The one in the Windows XP File Search window?
        No. That one was easily disabled.

        This one keeps coming back and gets more annoying every time. Kind of like the Vista advertisements.
        • by Zebedeu (739988)
          I wouldn't call it easy.
          The option is burried somewhere, and when you disable it (presumably because you already hate it), it still does all this animation of the dog leaving, blocking everything until the animation ends.

          I can only presume that the person who designed this system is a cat lover.
    • by Himring (646324)
      My favorite part is the period in time when they got "AOL" pasted across some major motion pictures. It was bad enough when every piece of mail or box you opened resulted in an AOL floppy disk....

      Did I have a point?
  • and call themselves Brawndo
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Rev Saxon (666154)
      Brando, its what your browser craves. (Now with electrolites)
      • by Pojut (1027544)
        Interestingly, after the first time I saw that movie I actually felt dumber. I wasn't sure if I thought that was an example of just how well made it was, or if I should be scared.

        (For those that don't know, the parent's post is a reference to the movie Idiocracy. If you've never seen it, I highly suggest that you do.)
  • by tonyreadsnews (1134939) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @03:32PM (#23028516)
    News Corp reaches out and tags Microsoft. Microsoft picks up a chair (signature move) and BAM smacks YAHOO across the back!
    Yahoo stumbles over and tags AOL, who does a Flying forearm smash to the face...

    Starting to feel like we need a claymation Deathmatch for this.
    • by Fx.Dr (915071)
      In the mean time, AltaVista is standing quietly in the corner nursing its drink, trying to muster up the courage to ask ChaCha for a dance. Awwwww :(
      • Alta Vista (Score:3, Interesting)

        by falconwolf (725481)

        In the mean time, AltaVista is standing quietly in the corner nursing its drink, trying to muster up the courage to ask ChaCha for a dance. Awwwww :(

        Do a search on Alta Vista some time, the results have Yahoo! stamped all over them. Whether that's because the results come from Yahoo! or Yahoo! provides any ads or something else I don't know.

        Falcon
        • Yahoo isn't just stamped on them, it is them. Do a search on yahoo and a search on Alta Vista. The results are carbon copies.
          • Yahoo isn't just stamped on them, it is them. Do a search on yahoo and a search on Alta Vista. The results are carbon copies.

            I didn't know this, I don't use Yahoo! for searches and haven't for years. Most of the tyme I use Google however I also use About.com [about.com], Altavista [altavista.com], Ask.com [ask.com], and Mooter [mooter.com].

            Falcon

  • Yahoo and AOL (Score:4, Insightful)

    by morari (1080535) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @03:39PM (#23028636) Journal
    Combining their efforts, aye? Can't get much crappier than that...
    • by jeillah (147690)
      The name of the combined company will be "AOLWho?".
      • by wattrlz (1162603)
        The worst part is Microsoft and Google will be fighting over the new entity in a couple year's time anyway.
      • by AndGodSed (968378)
        No no. Yaol. Pronounced Y'all, like hillbillies do. Lucrative market that.
        • by morari (1080535)
          The Yahoo yodeler could make a big come-back then!

          What? Surely others remember that sound clip. It was everywhere!

  • News Corp. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Random BedHead Ed (602081) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @03:49PM (#23028734) Homepage Journal
    If News Corp outbids Microsoft for Yahoo!, will I still be able to search for information about Democrats using their site, or will it be a fair and balanced search engine?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by s0litaire (1205168) *
      you will find all the Democratic information just fine, just with the good bits "edited" out. Just as all the Republican info will be on show, with the bad bits missing.... And there will be more Blonde Buxom babes on the search pages...(WooHoo more Asus beach babe pics!)
    • Now that's what I'm waiting for!
  • by interiot (50685) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @03:50PM (#23028752) Homepage

    AOL+Yahoo doesn't strike me as being able to produce better services than Yahoo alone could. Or MS+Yahoo. Or any other combination.

    The bigger a company is, the more cultural inertia it has, the less willing it is to try something new. Would strapping AOL's "never change anything" mentality to any company make it better? At least Microsoft has occasionally given one of its subdivisions such free-reign that it's been able to innovate (Microsoft mice, xbox360's networking features). Still, MS is mostly extra baggage.

    Yahoo by itself is already producing tons of different services [wikipedia.org], on the off-chance that a handful will be successful. Combining with someone larger will certainly slow that down. Would that slowdown be offset by making some more likely to be successful? I doubt it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      AOL+Yahoo doesn't strike me as being able to produce better services than Yahoo alone could. Or MS+Yahoo. Or any other combination.

      It does me. You see right now in some markets there is competition, but MS is one of the players and they are breaking antitrust law to artificially gain more market share. When they manage to have enough market, they intentionally break compatibility to undermine competition (illegally). Then they try to use that to move into the next market and gain share not by offering something better, but by tying it to something you already have to use because MS has monopolized it.

      Basically, anyone but MS, is a g

  • Me too!
  • by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @03:58PM (#23028862)
    Well, at this rate I'd like to throw my hat in too, and announce that I'd like to buy Yahoo! as well.
    Anyone else?

    I'd also like to be taken into consideration as the father of Anna Nicole's baby.

    • by calebt3 (1098475)

      I'd also like to be taken into consideration as the father of Anna Nicole's baby.
      Nice try. This is /.
  • by FleaPlus (6935) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @04:01PM (#23028900) Journal
    This news image [engadget.com] over on engadget has got to be one of the creepiest things I've seen in a while.
  • by rastoboy29 (807168) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @04:09PM (#23029010) Homepage
    I would welcome an AOL-Yahoo merger, way over an MS-Yahoo destructo-fest.
  • by HermMunster (972336) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @04:16PM (#23029114)
    The little boys in Redmond (Ballmer no exception regardless of his girth) have always been a bit delusional. If 90% of a market is held by one company in one market and that is anti-competitive then 90% of a market held by one company in the OS market is obviously anti-competitive.

    The Redmond boys need to stick to copying software ideas and stay out of the big boy markets where they obviously are limited in mental maturity.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by westlake (615356)
      The little boys in Redmond have always been a bit delusional. If 90% of a market is held by one company in one market and that is anti-competitive then 90% of a market held by one company in the OS market is obviously anti-competitive.

      Not delusional. Pragmatic.

      "IBM and the Seven Dwarfs." Intel and AMD. Microsoft and Apple. Photoshop and "?" The tech sector has never been known for its competitive balance.

      But to control 90% of the search based add market has very large implications.

      It would be as if one

  • So with all the speculation about MS+YAHOO+AOL ending up one company, what will the name be?
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @04:34PM (#23029352) Homepage

    Yahoo + AOL = Good

    Yahoo + AOL + Microsoft = Bad

    Yahoo + AOL + News Corp = Ugly

  • Merging (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @04:37PM (#23029368)
    I'm inclined to agree with techdirt's analysis... this is an indication that the big players are taking their eyes off the ball. The more mergers/reshuffling/synergistic-focus-shifting that goes on among these companies, the more opportunity there is for an small, innovative and efficient company to step into the void.
  • by OakLEE (91103) on Thursday April 10, 2008 @05:18PM (#23029808)
    Ok lets look at the numbers on this.

    Looking at Time Warner's annual report you can see that from FY05 to FY07, AOL revenues are down 36%. Conversely, operating income excluding one-time items is up 21%.

    This implies that the AOL division has remained profitable primarily by cost cutting, not by natural growth in its business. For example, it took them $7.52 to generate $1 of operating income in 2005. That ratio (revenue/operating income) is now down to $3.89.

    Yahoo's business, on the other hand, is the mirror image of AOL's. Revenues from 2005-2007 are up 32.55%, while operating income is down 66.61%. This is mainly due to operating costs increasing 67% in the same period.

    So essentially, you have a business, AOL, who sucks at generating revenue but is good at cutting costs, being bought out by a business, Yahoo, that is good at generating revenues (we'll see whether that holds in a recessionary environment), but horrible at keeping costs under control. If the two managements can learn from each other, this combination might actually work out for shareholders.

    Of course, for Yahoo employees, it means pack your desks up because heads are rolling if YahAOL is formed.
  • 1) Yahoo uses Google for ads
    2) AOL and Yahoo partner
    3) Microsoft and News Corp partner
    4) Microsoft/News Corp buy AOL/Yahoo
    5) Aomicrogoonewshoo Corp is formed?!
    6) ...
    7) Profit!!

    -SixD
  • Ironically, they complain that 'this would make the market far less competitive.'

    what the summary really meant was:

    Hypocritically, they complain that 'this would make the market far less competitive.'
  • Okay, I'm willing to give way on my hatred for Microsoft if it's a battle between them and Rupert Murdock. He's one scary mother fucker.
  • my favorite line:

    "Microsoft reacted with a comment pointing out that 'any definitive agreement between Yahoo! and Google would consolidate over 90% of the search advertising market in Google's hands.'"

    ...and that, my friends, is the pot calling the kettle black.... hey Microsoft - remember windows desktop monopoly? or does browser wars ring a bell????
  • Microsoft reacted with a comment pointing out that 'any definitive agreement between Yahoo! and Google would consolidate over 90% of the search advertising market in Google's hands.' Remember when Microsoft stole most of their base OS code and forced companies to sell their computers with windows or else face horrible law suits and eventually go under? Remember when microsoft owned 90% of the PC os market and explorer dominated in the WWW market? Remember when Microsoft was being fined by European courts

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