Friday, February 1, 2008

Microsoft Offers To Buy Yahoo - OH NO!

So I wake up this morning and what's the first thing I hear?

Yes - Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo.

For $44.6 billion.

It's a hostile takeover attempt by Microsoft to challenge Google.

The first thought that crossed my mind of course was, "Oh no! No more chat rooms!"

As some of you may be aware, Microsoft has been trying on its own for a number of years to challenge a great deal of the functionality of Yahoo.

Search engine? Microsoft comes up with Live.com.

Email? Now of course this is significant because Yahoo is, by far, the one web site in teh world with the most traffic and over HALF of that traffic is for email.

Well, a number of years ago Microsoft acquired Hotmail and they have also now added @live.com email addresses.

Now, this particular product from Microsoft is not necessarily THAT bad.

They have a web interface SOMETHING like Outlook, and, I have to admit, they have a really neat "Outlook Express" client program called Windows Live Mail that will let you work with your @hotmail.com, @live.com, and your POP3/IMAP accessible accounts.

Microsoft also tried to take on AOL a number of years ago and invented MSN in the process. They used to have a REALLY awesome collection of chat rooms (including a Cincinnati room), but I suppose when they found out about that the chat rooms were apparently mostly being used by pedophiles they decided to COMPLETELY discontinue the chat rooms.

Yahoo was faced with a similar problem, but they just decided to stop user-named rooms and increase monitoring (sending all the poor pedophiles to IRC or something of the sort?).

Yahoo also, of course, has a really awesome collection of online games.

So I do wonder how a Microsoft-Yahoo merger would play out.

Actually, considering how many overlapping services the two have, would such a merger pass regulatory muster?

Would the Yahoo chat rooms survive?

Would Yahoo Mail be merged into HotMail/Live.com or would it happen the other way around?

Yes ... this could be a deeply, deeply disturbing merger ...

Related:
The problems of merging Microsoft and Yahoo - Guardian Unlimited
Microsoft-Yahoo deal could reshape Internet - MSNBC
Microsoft-Yahoo deal will pass antitrust muster, say analysts - Computerworld

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