When I originally read the news, I knew it had to be a joke. I knew it had to be an article from The Onion. Then I looked at the link, and it came from TechCrunch. My reaction can best be described in three letters: WTF? What could Microsoft possibly want with Yahoo.
Microsoft and Yahoo have a lot in common. Mainly, both companies are failing miserably in the internet. Yahoo has been taking the Google approach of buying up existing properties. Microsoft has been taking their typical approach of making bad copies of existing properties. While both approaches have been immensely successful in the past, now the barrier to entry is so low on the web it simply doesn’t work. The point here is that neither company has been nearly as successful as their competitor, Google. Do they honestly think that mixing two rotten lemons will produce refreshing lemonade?
There are only two possible explanations for this: Either the decision makers at Microsoft are incredibly ignorant or stupid or both. Or, this is just an elaborate April Fools joke. Personally, I don’t think the Microsoft people are that dumb. So I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict the most elaborate April Fools joke ever. I guess we’ll find out in two months, because I really hope I’m right on this one.
The smart move for Microsoft would be to buy up all the small web 2.0 companies before Google. Then provide these companies with unlimited funding from their massive treasury. Leave them completely alone to produce top quality web products, thus gaining the users to profit from through advertising and subscription sales. Microsoft’s failure to see this, either through ignorance, or blinding hatred of all things Google, will prove to be one of their biggest blunders. As they loose traction in the desktop market, and fail to gain traction in the web market, I see tough times ahead for Microsoft.