Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Yahoo! The Internet Businesses Microsoft The Almighty Buck

Microsoft Circles Back to Yahoo With New Offer 143

Posted by timothy
from the soap-operas-never-end dept.
Ian Lamont writes "Microsoft has come back to Yahoo with a new offer that would involve it buying part of Yahoo. No details have been released, but sources told the Wall Street Journal that part of the arrangement would involve Microsoft selling display ads next to Yahoo search results. No word yet on how this will impact Carl Icahn's proxy war with Yahoo's board."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Circles Back to Yahoo With New Offer

Comments Filter:
  • by BlueStile (1257910) on Monday May 19, 2008 @02:24AM (#23459136)
    Obviously, if MSFT is interested in "Yahoo Search" as an effort to mount a challenge against Google, it isn't really interested in Y!'s technology, but rather its traffic. Obviously, that traffic flows mostly from visits to www.yahoo.com.

    Now, if MSFT, say, goes through and buys just the Yahoo Search division, it sounds like Yahoo is free to go become a content/media/etc. company free of worrying about Google and search.

    My question: who gets domain over the homepage, Yahoo.com? If Yahoo retains Yahoo, but MSFT owns the little search box on the page, then who decides how prominently the search is featured on the homepage, how it is integrated into the content, etc.? Yahoo would have incentive to make the content front and center, and who cares about the search box...

    It might be hard for MSFT to integrate all of Yahoo, but it's even harder for MSFT to integrate part of Yahoo...

    I still expect a full acquisition to occur. Whether its $32, $33, or $34 or something else, we'll see...

    • by shanen (462549) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:03AM (#23459276) Homepage Journal
      It's like the vulture circling back to the corpse, except in the case of Microsoft it's the old joke: "Patience, hell. I want to kill something."
    • by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:50AM (#23459490) Journal

      I still expect a full acquisition to occur. Whether its $32, $33, or $34 or something else, we'll see...

      I was just wondering... Yahoo's stock fell after Microsoft withdrew their original offer. Did it slide all the way back to pre-acquisition-attempt value or did it remain above that?
      I knew immediately that Microsoft withdrew only to reduce Yahoo!'s value, but if Yahoo! decide to hold out again, the tactics may prove to be disadvantageous to Microsoft.

      All in all, Microsoft is playing catch-up instead of innovating. Somehow, I think they will dominate the search market a year after Linux starts dominating the desktop market.

      • by BlueStile (1257910) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:59AM (#23459536)
        YHOO Stock Price (Approximate) Pre-Offer of 31: 19 Immediately after: 30 After initial rejection: 28ish After MSFT walks away: 24 One day later (and since), rumors swirling: 27 After MSFT returns to table: we'll see tomorrow!
      • by DJProtoss (589443) on Monday May 19, 2008 @05:08AM (#23459882)
        it didn't drop all the way, and you wouldn't expect it to, since it was pretty likely (but not certain) that MS would be back.
      • I was just wondering... Yahoo's stock fell after Microsoft withdrew their original offer. Did it slide all the way back to pre-acquisition-attempt value or did it remain above that?

        Yahoo!'s share price remained above the price before MS's original offer, more than $7 above. Yahoo!'s lowest price this year was $19.05 on 31 January. It's lowest point in May was on the 5th, at $24.37. It closed today, er yesterday the 19th at $27.68. And on the 16th, $27.66

        Falcon
    • by peragrin (659227)
      So once again MSFT is resorting to buying customers.

      What's the difference in typing in www.yahoo.com or www.live.com. I will give you this much live.com is better looking though it always seems to give me strange results in the top ten.

      MSFT is trying to duplicate google the problem is MSFT can't use their monopoly to force an advantage, since MSFT can't compete they are forced to buy customers.
    • The price point is an interesting topic. IMHO, U.S. law should be changed so that those who are filing lawsuits against Yahoo! for not executing the sale at $33/$34 to M$ should be forced to sell if the stock goes above that price and pay fines for a frivolous lawsuit--otherwise, they get their cake and eat it too...
  • Web advertising (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Monday May 19, 2008 @02:25AM (#23459138)
    Maybe I'm the only one missing the big picture, and in turn, the boat on web advertisements. I just don't get it anymore. It seems like such a waste of money to put up web ads when the average web user simply ignores them and the advanced users block them completely.

    Media companies have grown huge on advertising, but they have also spent huge sums to produce and purchase programming that attracted viewers. Online content is nowhere nearly as expensive to produce, and the target web audience is much smaller than TV audiences. I just don't see how online advertising can carry a company much farther than they've already come.

    I just don't get it. It seems like anyone trying to sell online advertising space is trying to squeeze pennies out of sheep. For all the effort going in to providing these online advertising spaces, I just can't imagine the payoff being that great.
    • Re:Web advertising (Score:5, Insightful)

      by drawfour (791912) on Monday May 19, 2008 @02:41AM (#23459198)
      I completely agree. I ask my friends "when was the last time you intentionally clicked on a web ad, and then actually bought something as a result?". They can't seem to recall. I'm sure there is something to be said for getting the product name out there -- somehow, subconciously, people will remember their product name, but I doubt it's worth that much.

      I keep waiting for companies to figure this out, but online advertising keeps growing. I don't get it.
      • Re:Web advertising (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rrohbeck (944847) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:07AM (#23459298)
        That's just your and your friends' nerdiness.
        A good consumer will click on anything shiny, just like (s)he will sit through 20 minutes of ads per show, and buy something based on the ads. Marketing folks aren't dumb - they're highly paid and rating systems show what works and what doesn't.
        I don't know if comparable rating systems exist for web advertising though.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Jugalator (259273)

          That's just your and your friends' nerdiness.
          Not really, my parents don't do that either, and I doubt many others also prefer to buy from online shops they are aware of since earlier. It's a trust thing, and people aren't as stupid as you think. Maybe in the early 2000's, but even my mom is reasonably seasoned as an Internet user these days.

          So I think it's not specific to nerds to not buy, but rather a special group of ad-buyers that buy.
          • Re:Web advertising (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Korin43 (881732) on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:05AM (#23459564) Homepage
            You're missing the point. These are still people YOU KNOW. There are people who click on ads, people who think the blink tag is useful, people who pay AOL for their dialup, etc..
            • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

              by Frekko (749706)
              We should get an answer to this once and for all by the means of a serious and infallible slashdot poll!
            • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              You're missing the point. These are still people YOU KNOW. There are people who click on ads, people who think the blink tag is useful, people who pay AOL for their dialup, etc..

              Stop being such a pretentious ass. Paying attention to ads isn't a sign of being stupid. Every once in a while, I will see an ad that lets me know of something I didn't know existed.

              If you weren't so cocksure that you knew everything already, perhaps you could derive some benefit from targetted ads. You probably use blocklists to block even unintrusive ads, though (lol advertising is TEH EVIL).

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by v(*_*)vvvv (233078)
              If an ad is clicked in the forest, does it still make a sound?

              "click!"
          • If you ever have someone who says the following...:

            -My computer says it has found a virus but it says I have to pay to remove them. Really annoying, too; it did that when I was reading a web site...
            -Bitdefender didn't work at all. It just said I have more viruses than last time!
            -Should I install SpyCruncher? ...you have met a person who makes web advertising profitable.
            It's scary.
          • Maybe in the early 2000's
            I'm sorry, but just how early in the 2000's are you considering? 8 years is pretty early for a millenia.

            Unless maybe you meant just the year 2000?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Marketing folks aren't dumb - they're highly paid and rating systems show what works and what doesn't.

          you dont think the marketing folk would lie to the PHB and pretend to make a difference.

          your 1/2 right in your post anybody informed (not sure that's the right word, but meh) enough to read slashdot will have friends that are smart enough not to go, ooooh shiny, clicky, clicky, but I think something has to be said for the fact that marketing folks tell the higher ups their important and sell THAT message really well.

        • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

          by v1 (525388)
          I wonder really though just how much of those numbers are "real"? Marketing people are not necessarily geniuses at figuring out what works, but are geniuses at twisting numbers to make it look like it works.

          It wouldn't surprise me if parent is right and the actual real numbers show that banners/ads don't generate nearly the revenue that the ad placers claim they do. In that respect, the marketers, not the consumer, may be the bigger cause of the banner/ad nightmare we are in now.

          Unfortunately, my daily re
          • Re:Web advertising (Score:4, Insightful)

            by gtall (79522) on Monday May 19, 2008 @08:32AM (#23461022)
            I think there is a difference between a sponsored link and your generic web ad that one might get on site frequently visited for information and that gets updated daily like a news site. Most people probably ignore those out of necessity since they visit the site too often to waste time on the ads.

            However, there have been times when I've been interested in some item, like a particular kind of pen I'm partial to, and Google will return retailers' links. Granted, these are not your typical web ad but more of a simple (paid for) link. But I have clicked on them simply because I want to buy the product.

            Gerry
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Colonel Korn (1258968)

              I think there is a difference between a sponsored link and your generic web ad that one might get on site frequently visited for information and that gets updated daily like a news site. Most people probably ignore those out of necessity since they visit the site too often to waste time on the ads.

              However, there have been times when I've been interested in some item, like a particular kind of pen I'm partial to, and Google will return retailers' links. Granted, these are not your typical web ad but more of a simple (paid for) link. But I have clicked on them simply because I want to buy the product.

              Gerry

              When you want a particular product, go to its website or a website of a supplier. NEVER click on ads of any form. Doing so just encourages more ads. If there's something you absolutely want and there's a text ad sitting there taunting you, go search for it. DO NOT CLICK THE AD.

              • When you want a particular product, go to its website or a website of a supplier. NEVER click on ads of any form.

                Once in a while when googling I'll click on a Google ad, open it in a new tab, then close the tab. I do this because I want to support Google.

                Doing so just encourages more ads.

                Ads allow content providers to provide content. Without ads there would not be much content and what was available users would have to pay for. Even /., /. displays ads as well as asks users to subscribe. I don'

        • Re:Web advertising (Score:5, Interesting)

          by AtariDatacenter (31657) on Monday May 19, 2008 @09:19AM (#23461474)
          I wrote a longish reply about this (below). Sure, there is a component of this that is to augment microsoft's web based advertising. No question.

          What is really the motivation for this transaction is that Microsoft got caught with its pants down in an emerging field. Again.

          A new Internet is developing. (No, really. Hear this one out.) An Internet that is centered around your location (your GPS coordinates) and where you currently are, and what is around you. If the Internet, to date, brought you access to the world, then the next generation of Internet services will bring you access to your community (or will bring your community access to YOU!)

          Think of all your data, all your requests, everything, but tagged with GPS coordinates. What fun services can you provide? GPS + Flickr = location and time based picture sharing. Went to a concert? Easily get photos from other people who attended the same event. See? Internet + GPS = fun.

          Guess what also can be location based? Yup. Advertising. I won't get into the whole host of ideas here (online coupons, business search with advertising, favored search results, etc etc) but there is a great opportunity here. If people are currently using the Internet to market to the nation/world, then perhaps a different group of people will want to use the Internet to advertise to people in their own community.

          For example, a mom-and-pop sandwich shop. Trying to find a good sub shop to go to for lunch? The mom-and-pop business can pay for favored search results. Perhaps dangle a digital coupon to entice your business. A completely different advertising customer and advertising model than we have today.

          Microsoft totally has its pants down on the local Internet that is developing behind the scenes. Microsoft will be handing out the money all over the place to build the empire that they neglected to develop themselves. One that Google is totally dominating.... and it isn't even out there to the public... yet.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:18AM (#23459348)

        I completely agree. I ask my friends "when was the last time you intentionally clicked on a web ad, and then actually bought something as a result?".
        2 people, a cat and a dog do not count as an accurate survey.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by pembo13 (770295)
        I have intentionally clicked on a google ad, more than once, esp. in Gmail where it is even more targeted. The only reason I didn't buy was due to lack of funds. I'm referring to the single line text ads.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Kalriath (849904) *
          I uncheck the "Show Ads" box in Gmail. Strangely, the section of UI that usually shows ads looks like a big empty space. You can tell they designed it around the ads.
      • Re:Web advertising (Score:5, Interesting)

        by weave (48069) * on Monday May 19, 2008 @06:29AM (#23460336) Journal
        I bought my car in October based on a banner ad. It was an ad for a car named Honda Fit that I had never heard of before. I wanted a small car that had a decent amount of hauling capacity. So I clicked the ad, read the blurb, then went about doing a lot of other digging about the car, joined a Yahoo group for the Fit, etc, etc.
    • Re:Web advertising (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SuluSulu (1039126) on Monday May 19, 2008 @02:42AM (#23459200) Homepage
      Because regardless of how many hits you get, if you don't tell people that your product exists then no one will ever buy it, and advertising on TV is too expensive, especially, when you are trying to reach a geographically diverse audience.
    • Re:Web advertising (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mrcdeckard (810717) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:38AM (#23459430) Homepage
      you certainly are missing the big picture, but i'm sure you're not the only one. the long and the short of it, is that google adwords *work*. maybe not on you and your friends, but in the big picture, they do. microsoft understands this.

      google hit the advertising "holy grail" with adwords -- although no one has said/realized it, adwords are what the marketing industry has been wishing for since freud's nephew invented it -- specific and contextual advertising.

      before adwords, advertisers mostly had to throw a bunch of shit at the wall and hope that some stuck. billboards and subway ads are a good example. anybody and everybody sees that ad, so if you have a niche or specific market, you have to advertise to 10k people to get to your 100.

      radio and newspapers are a bit better -- if you want to advertise your new cat food, you can call the publishers of "cat fancy", and hit closer to the bulls' eye.

      adwords allow advertising to a demographic of one. if you sell gloves that are missing the middle finger on one hand (for people who've lost that finger), you could theoretically dial in your adwords to catch that person.

      adwords and gmail make it even more powerful. now, instead of catching people who are actively searching the web, you can just filter their email.

      i use gmail, and i have actually clicked on a few adwords because i had sent an email to someone asking if they had xyz for sale, and the adwords threw up a link to an online store that did.

      adwords are NOT banner ads. they're specific, they're not obnoxiousm, and they work. this is the piece of the pie microsoft wants to in on, and they're trying to acquire yahoo (at least their traffic) to do it.

      i may be going too far here, but if they don't get yahoo, they're going to lose out on the (consumer) desktop in a big way -- is there a part of their business that isn't slipping?

      mr c
      • Re:Web advertising (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DrEldarion (114072) on Monday May 19, 2008 @05:05AM (#23459866)
        It's even better than just the targeting. AdWords + Analytics lets you know what you're getting conversions off of and what you aren't. So if you spend $100 on two ads and one is profitable and one isn't, you can dump your budget into the one that's making you money and abandon the other one.

        Relevance to users is great, but conversion tracking is the best part of internet advertising.
        • And to go even further, it is this conversion tracking that pushes budget increases through the chanels of a business bureaucracy.

          Did it work?
          a. Well, our sales last month were pretty good.
          *vs*
          b. We spent 1000 dollars and those ads led to 1300 in sales.

          If b, well, why not spend 10000 then? This cycle continues! And that is how google is raking it in. Everything else google does is for fun and laughs (business-wise).
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        With connectivity of people and easy access to the information one wants really, the consumer does rise to power (i.e. actually has the ability to make rational choices) and ads of all sorts, even words, will be history.

        Needs of people will be created by the people themselves and capitalists can revert to owning labor to produce stuff that is really wanted.(I'm not saying that that necessarily isn't Britney Spears, though)

        Why click on an ad for someone who paid for it, when the community, with its free soft
        • You didn't really need to ask the last bit :p

          You are right that the rise of the free press and the internet and so on has led to a proliferation of information, but a lot of that 'information' is just lightly disguised advertising, or corporate funded studies and such. There are indepent reviews and such out there which is good, but there is absolutely no reason for corporations to stop advertising as long as idiots^H people keep buying based on ads they see rather than searching for themselves and then goi
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by pablomme (1270790)

        if you sell gloves that are missing the middle finger on one hand (for people who've lost that finger), you could theoretically dial in your adwords to catch that person.
        Easy, they'll be looking for "glovs" on "www.googl.om".
      • by corbettw (214229)
        You're already modded up pretty high, so I'll respond instead of modding again.

        Here's my anecdotal experience as a user of AdWords: several years ago, I started an online store to sell tabletop games. Started with just GW stuff (Warhammer and 40k), but planned on expanding into other areas before the divorce threw a monkey wrench into the works. In any event, all of my advertising was done through Yahoo and Google's ad systems.

        The results? Between the two, the store turned a profit within three months. Even
    • by TheSeer2 (949925)
      Actually, I consider myself an advanced user with all the adblock and noscript she-bang. But, because I'm actually capable of spending money online, I have found myself clicking (although this is /very/ rare) online ads because they're advertising a product I'm interested in.
    • by retooh (1291832)
      I don't know one person that gets anything but annoyed from online advertisements... However, Microsoft could be after what the millions of people use Yahoo to do everyday, search the internet? Yahoo's search data would give Microsoft access to globs of information. Not only to obviously annoy more people, but give Microsoft more access to a far greater pool of public interest. I am not a lawyer, nor do I know Yahoo's user agreement, but does Yahoo have the ability to sell Microsoft stores of search data?
      • I don't know one person that gets anything but annoyed from online advertisements...

        You may not know anyone but many people do buy because of online ads. If they didn't then businesses wouldn't waste their money on ads.

        Falcon
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Graymalkin (13732)
      Advertising is most effective when it is relevant to the person seeing it. Web advertising was like magazine advertising for a long time. You offered got paid a very small amount of money for a unit of space for every visitor to your site, more if they clicked and ad and even more if they actually bought something. In order to get ads on your site you as the webmaster would fill out a form telling the advertisers what sort of content you typically posted. A video game website would say their content is abou
    • In order to see The_Big_Picture (TBP) you have to be part of TBP. :)

      I have clients who run ecommerce stores and their most successful marketing is done online (mostly google adwords).

      What sort of words they use and how much they pay has a huge impact on their business - it works! I have no idea who clicks through (and buys the products), because its not me..
    • by Evro (18923) *
      Anecdotes aside, people are clicking these like mad, and some terms gross Google upwards of US$5.00 per click. So although you may not, and your friends may not, they are certainly being clicked. This accounts for the vast majority of Google's earnings, so if you think nobody's clicking just look at their financials. People are clicking. People do click.
  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Monday May 19, 2008 @02:26AM (#23459142)
    As soon as Carl Ichan got involved it was almost a forgone conclusion that Microsoft would be back to deal with Yahoo given Ichan's reputation for bringing together bickering parties in merger deals which deliver value to the shareholders (including Ichan). I had previously predicted that Yahoo would be able to resist a takeover offer from Microsoft (that was before Ichan got involved and started buying millions of shares) but even then I thought that it was a bit strange for Yahoo to turn down a 70%+ premium on their share price (initial offer of Microsoft) to be acquired (a good price by almost any recknoning, irrespective of the long term outcome of the merger). The onus will now be upon the Yahoo board to detail their plan to the shareholders and prove that they can offer a better value with a Google partnership (which seems to be their proposed direction) than Ichan (who will push for resumption of talks with Microsoft in light of a limited alternative pool of qualified bidders) can with a resumption of talks and possibly a sale to Microsoft. Even if Yahoo manages to hold off Ichan, they would really have to outperform in the next 3-5 years to beat the upfront 70%+ premium that they originally turned down to remain independent and the prosepct of a protacted duel with Ichan will make that independent stance even tougher to justify in the months ahead (possibly allowing Ichan to buy up more battered Yahoo shares and strengthen his hand even more).
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2008 @02:54AM (#23459234)
      Icahn Forces Yahoo To Pick Up The Soap!!

      Microsoft Embraces and Extends, Upon Completion Balmer Shouts YAHOO!!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by weave (48069) *

      Icahn did absolute wonders for TWA when he bought them, and many other companies

      /sarcasm

      If Icahn gets control and Microsoft doesn't buy it all, expect Yahoo to be broken up into little pieces and sold off bit by bit if that's determined to be the most profitable thing for him. We may be seeing that happen now. Icahn gets a Board in there friendly to him, Yahoo only sells search to Microsoft, then starts selling off what's left to other companies.

      I'd suspect if Microsoft buys all of it, I bet they absorb

      • Reminds me of an old nursery rhyme:

        Our friend Yahoo is dead, but Ballmer don't know it,
        And Ballmer is dead, but Yahoo don't know it.
        And both of them dead, and in the same bed,
        But neither one knows that the other one's dead.

        Apologies, I'm sure, to somebody.

  • by pembo13 (770295) on Monday May 19, 2008 @02:39AM (#23459188) Homepage
    ISO,OLPC... soon Yahoo? Also, who is paying for all the Novel-Microsoft ads all over the internet?
  • by Fluffeh (1273756)
    Duck season!
    Yahoo season!
    Duck Season!
    Yahoo Season!
    Yahoo Season Fire!
    *face foot of soot*
  • by shanen (462549) on Monday May 19, 2008 @02:58AM (#23459258) Homepage Journal
    Basically Microsoft is using their cash clout to destroy the value of other companies. If you don't sell out when they ask nicely, then they'll just make you a worse offer once the turmoil sets in. Microsoft figures they asked nicely, eh?

    Other times when their nice asking was refused, Microsoft just created an approximately equivalent service or product and swallowed the losses until the original company was destroyed. I think Palm was probably the best example of that, though it's quite a stretch to call Windows Mobile even vaguely similar. (Actually, in that case they did most of the damage by using advertising to drive Palm away from their original objectives.)

    I love freedom and democracy, and therefore I conclude I must hate Microsoft. Freedom is about informed choices among real options, not limited to choosing today's flavor of Microsoft's poisonous cruft. They should cut Microsoft into four or five pieces and force them to compete against each other and against Linux and Apple. That would give us real choices and lead to much faster development of much better software. It would also prevent any part of Microsoft from getting so fat as to go around destroying other companies and other markets, Yahoo and online advertising merely being the latest targets.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:10AM (#23459312)
      Basically you don't understand business. If you love freedom and democracy, then instead of irrationally hating Microsoft you should rationally aknowledge that Yahoo sold out to the public to make money in trade of freedom. They also had the freedom to go to other companies for a better offer, which they tried to do, and failed. Do not confuse their failure to retain private ownership or to find a better bid as a lack of democracy. Rather, what we see unfolding is truly the result of freedom (except mayve anti-trust concerns limiting Google's ability to bid).
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        "Whats good for General Bullmoose is whats good for the U.S.A.
        And by Dow Jones and all their little averages,
        Dont you forget it! Right, boys?"

        With apologies to the creators of Li'l Abner

        Mod me flamebait or troll if you like, but imo, corporations and central banking are more conducive to fascism then a free democracy. Corporations are a reaction to high taxation, particularly for inheritance taxes in many cases, as well as restrictive monetary control. So in some ways they can be a counterbalance to govern
        • Actually corporations are a reaction to liability. The first businesses granted a Corporate Charter were the Honourable East India Company [wikipedia.org] in 1600 and the Dutch East India Company [wikipedia.org] in 1602. Both companies were in shipping which was a risky business. Ships had to deal with storms such as hurricanes and pirates. When a ship sunk or was attacked the ship owner was financially liable. The owner of the lost goods had to be paid back. The crewmen or their survivors had to be paid as well. This could bankrup

    • by siddesu (698447)
      If you love freedom and democracy, you have to love competition. And if you love competition, you have to be careful about Google.

      They have a large percent of the search "market"; they have been offering all sorts of exclusive and semi-exclusive deals to various mobile providers; and they've been buying up competition for a while.

      It can only be good if they have at least one huge tough mean and rich competitor that hates their guts.
      • by shanen (462549)
        I acknowledge that Google is becoming potentially threatening--but so far they do not have the track record of abuse that Microsoft has. Do you care to cite any evidence of your concern? Actually, insofar as Google supports competing advertising in an impartial way, they are mostly acting to facilitate competition. However, I think Google's main service in support of competition is providing access to non-advertising information about the real value of products. To date, Google generates almost no content o
        • by siddesu (698447)

          I think you just don't want to talk about Microsoft. Why are you so eager to change the subject?

          I don't care about google, microsoft, apple, or whatever. I want to see competition. In my book, Google buying Yahoo is scarier than Microsoft buying Yahoo.

          Do you care to cite any evidence of your concern?

          i already did, but you don't read. in some countries, Google are trying out a nice little strategy of making exclusive alliance with phone companies.

          the end result - unless i do something very convoluted, all my mobile traffic goes via google; i hear they are going to remove the convoluted option. even microsoft isn't that invasive.

          I imagine what will

          • by shanen (462549)
            Simple answer to your lengthy spiel is that I use many search engines and compare the results. Still quite a lot of competition in search. Google consistently provides the results that seem the most useful and balanced--but that may change. So far Google seems to be retaining their top position at least partly by merit.

            I actually don't approve of Google's purchase of Doubleclick, but I have yet to see any evidence of abuse there. Just on principle I would even say that no company should be encouraged to pur
            • by siddesu (698447)
              yawn.
              • by shanen (462549)
                You hoping for a foe designation? Sorry, but you're just an excessively little piece of shite.
                • by siddesu (698447)
                  :)

                  you are obviously an accomplished debater and a polite person.
                  • by shanen (462549)
                    So where the fuck does that leave you?
                    • by siddesu (698447)
                      outside of the angry young men movement :-P
                    • by shanen (462549)
                      Really, I'd be downright gratified if you designated me a foe. Desperate shortage of clue-proof fools, you know.
                    • by siddesu (698447)
                      yor wish iz my komand
                    • by shanen (462549)
                      I can't tell if you're sincerely that stupid, or you just have to break anything you touch. You could be some kind of contrarian troll rather than a simple cretin.

                      As usual, /. fails badly to capture the richness of reality. You aren't worth a "foe" designation, but there isn't any flag for "ultra-fool".
  • by eclectro (227083)
    They can insert their stinger and inject their deadly poison another way.
  • by Animats (122034) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:18AM (#23459356) Homepage

    • Wait for Icahn to get a majority on the board.
    • Cut a deal with Icahn for the parts of Yahoo they want.
    • Let Icahn find buyers for the rest of the assets.
    • Profit!

    This makes more sense than buying the whole company, which is way overpriced and overstaffed for its revenue. All Microsoft really needs, after all, is the brand, so they can drive traffic to MSN.

  • The Empire Strikes Back... It seems like that, but may be funny. See Kill Rates. [killrates.com]
  • by FurtiveGlancer (1274746) <.AdHocTechGuy. .at. .aol.com.> on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:32AM (#23459410) Journal
    I've always thought of M$ as a collection of smart, but arrogant yahoos. Now they can bully their way into buying the domain name that fits them best. [flame off]
  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nomen Publicus (1150725) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:54AM (#23459514)
    I'm still not convinced that we know why Microsoft wants Yahoo. Is there nothing else that Microsoft can do with $40 billion? Is there no Microsoft service or product that needs more investment?
    • by timmarhy (659436)
      I keep thinking the same thing. why does MS really need yahoo? what kind of return do they think they will get? 40 billion could certainly do better else where. if it were me and google was my aim, i'd simply use the 40 billion to steal employee's off google and get them to inject The Right Stuff tm into MSN.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      That is what I wonder too.

      I am not an anti-MS troll at all, but I do think this highlights MS weakness. Perhaps the entire company did revolve around Bill, and with him stepping out more and more, it seems to directly correlate to the loss of innovation and competitiveness at MS. They were not able to turn themselves on a dime to adapt to the Internet as I believe they needed to about 10 years ago. Google is consistently coming up with AMAZING stuff that MS isn't even close to matching (have you actu
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I agree.

      My pet theory is that they are actually out to destroy competing application platforms, in this case LAMP(php) + YUI.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ardle (523599)

      Is there nothing else that Microsoft can do with $40 billion?
      It's not their $40 billion. Well, only ~$20bn is. The rest of the cash is going to come from loans, remember?

      Who's going to lend MS $20bn to buy a Web company?

      Who's going to lend them $20bn to buy an advertising company in a recession?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by hostyle (773991)
        Its not exactly going to be a 100% mortgage. MS make money - a lot of it - from OEM OS sales and Office. Financial institutions will be falling all over themselves to get a grasp of that empire.

        Google make a hell of a lot of money from ads, and this is what this buy-out is about in the end, competing for some of googles ad money. Financial institutions love money, so how exactly can they lose here?
    • I'm still not convinced that we know why Microsoft wants Yahoo. Is there nothing else that Microsoft can do with $40 billion?
      What part of "Ballmer wants to fucking kill Google" wasn't clear enough?
  • by PinkyDead (862370) on Monday May 19, 2008 @05:50AM (#23460140) Journal
    WRT Mr Icahn...

    Just goes to show that just coz you have a shed load of money, doesn't mean you have the first clue how you got it.

    Maybe the board of Yahoo actually know what they are doing, because Microsoft seem to want this so bad, it hurts.
    • by corbettw (214229)

      WRT Mr Icahn...

      Just goes to show that just coz you have a shed load of money, doesn't mean you have the first clue how you got it.
      Sure he does, you're just confusing the goal of longterm viability for Yahoo! with Icahn's goal of doubling his investments every 10 years (or whatever metric he uses). Yahoo! might be a good investment for the long haul, but Icahn isn't interested in the long haul. Come to think of it, most investors aren't.
  • Microsoft Circles Back to Yahoo With New Demand?
  • Not so bad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by acb (2797) on Monday May 19, 2008 @07:07AM (#23460528) Homepage
    As long as Yahoo gets to keep its open technologies (the Flickr API, Pipes, &c.), that's fine with me. Let Microsoft spend their cash reserves on a second-tier search engine.

    Having said that, it's probably still prudent to back up your Flickr and del.icio.us accounts, especially if you don't use Windows.
    • by Tim C (15259)
      Having said that, it's probably still prudent to back up your Flickr and del.icio.us accounts, especially if you don't use Windows.

      Why anyone would trust any third party company/site with important data that they don't have another copy of themselves I don't know...
      • by drspliff (652992)
        Because your excess photo snaps and 'social bookmarks' aren't important - their nice to have and could be annoying if you lost them, but unless you're a professional photographer storing all your photos only on flickr then I can't see how it could be a serious problem.
      • by acb (2797)
        It's not so much the photos as the metadata. You may have all your photos sitting at home, but chances are, the fact that they've been selected for posting to Flickr and the tags you have given them were created in the process of posting them, and do not exist outside of Flickr. Were Flickr to turn into a proprietary, Windows Vista-only service, all you'd be left with is a big pile of JPEGs, some of which you had selected for exhibition.
  • Ballmer is crazy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by LinuxFreakus (613194)

    The proposed deal didn't make sense before, and it makes even less sense now. If Microsoft takes just search from yahoo, then the rest of Yahoo will be irrelevant within a year. Yahoo would be stupid to give up search.

    The only way this can end well is if Microsoft just backs away and pretends that none of this ever happened.

    There is just no getting around the fact that Yahoo is itself struggling to survive against google, and Microsoft has already pretty much admitted they can't compete with Google in

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Colonel Korn (1258968)
      Ballmer is an executive leading a company. The job of such a person is to immediately make a large and costly change in the company. The change itself is determined almost at random - these people aren't particularly good at analyzing this sort of thing. Just take a look at the success rate of this sort of project taken on by a company's new CEO. Sometimes it works, and a bit more often it doesn't. It's just a roll of the dice.

      The point is that if it doesn't hurt MS, Ballmer comes off looking good. He
  • Microsoft is becoming that chic that boiled the bunny in Fatal Attraction.

    Yahoo! must be thinking: "Look, we had some laughs, talked about getting serious but hey, it just ain't working out.
    And Microsoft is like: "I just won't be ignored!"

  • by AtariDatacenter (31657) on Monday May 19, 2008 @09:05AM (#23461296)
    I wrote paragraph after paragraph here, but nobody will read it. So let me condense:

    This deal IS and always WAS about search. But not so much today's search. Tomorrow's search. Microsoft is playing for a market that exist... yet.

    Online service are going to get a new focus, which is based on mobile computing and GPS. Your GPS coordinates will become a very valuable piece of data in numerous new online services, and will add flavor to existing services.

    This will open the door to what I call the "local Internet" or the "location-based Internet". If the Internet to date has brought people access to the nation or the world, the local Internet will bring people greater information/access in their own communities.

    Google is so far ahead of everyone else in this field, it is laughable. They've been playing the game well in advance of everyone else. Microsoft has almost nothing. Yahoo appears to be the second place player (and I'd argue a distant second).

    Microsoft needs to play catch-up in the field that they, once again, recognized too late. Acquisition.

    So, the deal may have the blanket of "search", but the desire behind it is more specific than that. They are looking to get their foot in the door of the NEXT generation of Internet services, specifically, Local Internet search.
  • Coming from a friend of mine at AOL, Yahoo is courting AOL to give both of them a better shot at competing with MS. The last thing that Yahoo or AOL want it to give MS more shares in online advertising. So I'd venture to guess that by the end of the year we'll see an AOL/Yahoo merger.
  • I'm not especially fond of Yahoo, but it would be sad to see them go.

...when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. - Fred Brooks, Jr.

Working...