Saturday, February 09, 2008

Yahoo/Microsoft

First off, apologies the blog has been quiet. I've been busy.

Particularly, I've gotten a few people asking me why I haven't posted anything on the Microsoft's potential acquisition of Yahoo. I asked myself that question, and the best answer I could come up with was this - honestly, I really don't care.

Don't get me wrong - I realize it's a big deal and, if it goes through, will be one of the biggest and most important acquisitions in the history of the internet.

But personally, I've used either company's website only once in probably the past 4 or 5 years (since I ditched hotmail for gmail). And that once was a couple days ago.

I was on a computer in Huntsman, one of the Wharton buildings, trying to pull up some info to present to a group I'm in. I opened a browser and entered my search query into the box in the upper right corner. The results came up, but something was wrong - not only was I unable to find the web site I wanted, but, on the whole, the results just weren't as pertinent as they should be.

What in the world could be wrong? In the midst of trying to stall, I realized the problem - I was on Microsoft Live search. Penn, in its infinite wisdom, has shunned Google and Apple, installing nothing but PCs and letting Live Mail handle student email (instead of Gmail). Those PCs contained only Internet Explorer, pre-installed with Live search instead of Google in the upper right corner.

I think the incident is telling. On the whole, Google's offerings surpass Microsoft's and Yahoo's in terms of quality, and especially so in search, which is clearly the most important offering.

So where does that leave the merger? If it goes through, theres probably and 80% chance it'll be a mistake, like almost every other big merger. Perhaps the geniuses in Redmond will figure out a way to make it a success, but I doubt it.

And, really, it's not going to impact my life in much of a significant way - I get my search from Google and my news from CNN, Fox, BBC, and ESPN. So that's mostly why I haven't blogged about it, till now - together, I still won't use either today and they're probably even less likely to produce something that I might use in the future.

8 comments:

  1. I went to great lengths to avoid MSFT Exchange by locating and signing up with Zimbra, which was bought by Y! last year. Now everyone's saying MS will shut it down if the takeover goes through. Grr.

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  2. Ahhh, yes. I'm more or less in the same situation, I almost never use either of the company's main sites. But the merger could be significant because they both have bought so many small startups that offer services that really are useful. For example, Flickr and del.icio.us are two services I use all the time, and if Microsoft screws them up, I would be quite upset about it.

    But better Microsoft than News Corp.

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