2.05.2008

Good luck, Microsoft, with the Yahoo thing

Seemingly everyone this week is distracted by Microsoft’s hostile takeover bid for Yahoo.

• Pundits wonder if other suitors will emerge, and how Google will respond.
• Microsoft-bashers want the company to fix its software, instead of screwing up Yahoo.
• Microsoft-boosters drool over the synergy between Yahoo and MSN.
• Analysts correctly note that there’s a lot of overlap in content and services.

Microsoft’s fervent desire, of course, is for more advertising revenue. Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer are tired of watching Google kick them from one end of the football field to the other. Since they can’t innovate their way out of this mess, they’ll try to spend $42 billion on a Hail Mary pass.

Even without competing suitors, it’s not certainly that the deal will succeed. Microsoft, after all, is a confirmed monopolist, accused of tying its dominant operating system closely to its Web offerings. Windows and Internet Explorer already “favor” MSN. If MSN merges with Yahoo, those bonds will only deepen.

Google's current dominance of paid search notwithstanding, Microsoft’s going to have a challenge getting this transaction past an anti-trust review.

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Co-founder and editorial director of BZ Media, which publishes SD Times, the leading magazine for the software development industry. Founder of SPTechCon: The SharePoint Technology Conference, AnDevCon: The Android Developer Conference, and Big Data TechCon. Also president and principal analyst of Camden Associates, an IT consulting and analyst firm.