Ponderings/Questions on the Microsoft Bid for Yahoo

I’m sure by now you’re all aware of the Microsoft bid to snag Yahoo. I’ve read countless articles on it, discussed it with various people, and I STILL can’t make heads or tails of it. Microsoft…what exactly are you doing here? And why?

The immediate camp of thought is that Microsoft wants to go head to head with Google in the search arena. We know MS doesn’t like to be second best in anything, but is this really a battle you want to wake? Not only that…do you really think acquiring Yahoo will give you that edge?

An interesting concept that someone in one of my circles presented is that MS wants to snag the IM and email market. This one makes total sense to me. Yahoo Mail and Yahoo IM are both leaders in their respective fields. The combination of Yahoo Mail and Hotmail would make GMail’s market share look even smaller than it is. And then combining Yahoo IM with MSN? Niiice…

But alas…can we look back at history to see how Microsoft would deal with this acquisition? In the past it was MS assimilating the competition…and that’s that. On a few occasions Microsoft actually tried to continue the product (a la Hotmail). I think Yahoo is too widely used (and not really a major threat anymore to MS) to have MS simply eat it up to kill it. So that leaves us with MS snagging Yahoo’s goods to build a larger market share (in search? Mail? IM services? Flickr? Net services in general?) Again…we need to look at the underpinnings of such acquisition. Microsoft’s infrastructure is based on, well, MS products. Yahoo? Not so much. Yahoo is running FreeBSD, PHP, and other open systems. Yeahhhh…can you really see Microsoft keeping that all around? It could get uuuuugly. Fugly in fact.

And…must I really bring up the culture differences? Yahoo culture…Microsoft culture…vastly different.

What are you up to Microsoft. Geeks and business people around the world want to know.