Tuesday, February 05, 2008

What's your view on the Microsoft/Yahoo bid?

Naturally, in my IT world of cheeky water-cooler (read: coffee pot) scandal conversations, the Microsoft/Yahoo merger opportunity is a major conversational piece. I'm just curious what the views of you lurkers (those of you who read but don't post) are. Personally, I think I'm up for seeing the final challenge between the search engines. The argument is being made, by Google and others, that Microsoft's long standing history of breaking the law and violating anti-trust are reason enough not to let the PC giant take over Yahoo. Others claim the combined power of Yahoo and MSN search create a monopoly on the Internet and that it shouldn't be allowed. Personally, I can't wait. I think it will finally bring to bear the Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome showdown we've all wanted to see for years and will also provide Google with just one more reason to work hard to stay the best at what they do.

As a former Yahoo-junkie and advocate of services from way back, I've used every feature Yahoo has ever put out, from Stocks to email, groups, 360, photo sharing, hosting, messaging, telephony, music, and others I can't think of. Let's see what's happened in the recent years, just from Google's competition alone:

  • Yahoo Mail: Changed to adopt Gmail's look and feel. Failed miserably. Its still ad-driven and I can't get to my mail quickly because of all the sludge that has to load on the page beside my junkmail... I mean email. No forwarding or pop unless you have a paid account? Paid account? I pay less for my 650 email addresses AND my entire domain that comes with it then I would for one year's access to forward my mail through yahoo.
  • Yahoo Photos: Died... they gave it over to Flick'r and gave up.
  • Yahoo 360: Tried to copy MySpace's idea of a social network portal service... failed.
  • Yahoo Telephony: Can anyone say Skype? Yahoo, available in $10.00 and $25.00 increments for outbound calls. Skype:Call two continents for the entire year for $36.00 per YEAR!
  • Yahoo Music: C'mon.. really? You actually used that? Well, apparently you're the only one because this week it died too.
  • Yahoo Search: Ok. Let's put this one side by side so we can really see what we're getting here. I want to "search" the internet, which means to most people that I want to find something in specific, hence the word "search" engine.
  • Yahoo Maps: Really? They have that? I didn't even KNOW about that until now.. I just assumed they'd given up on that one too.
  • Yahoo! is a yodel! (or an idiot, depending on the use of the term) Google is a verb!

If I open a google.com search:


Hmm.. simple enough. Nice, fast, and loads amazingly quick. Wow.. no advertising? Cool huh?


Now, let's say I wanted to do a Yahoo search:


What the heck is this? Oh, it's a search engine? I could almost swear it's the front page of the New York Times! Ads, answers, Finance, Obama and Hilary, Yahoo Local, Tylenol? There's a new drug called Tylenol out there? Wow! Oh yeah, what was I searching for again? I forgot amidst the vomit of flotsam Yahoo spewed onto my desktop browser.

Here's a test for search engine stupidity: Go to yahoo and type 2+2 and hit search. Did you know there are 27, 900,000,000 results for 2+2? Go do the same search in Google... yeah, it's FREAKIN FOUR! End of story! I was searching for MATH, not the wikipedia history of the numbering system.


So, what are you trying to say?

I'm saying Microsoft is purchasing a dead horse, so dead it smells bad. If Bill wants to drop 44 billion dollars, I say Go Daddy Go! Let him do it! Let's assume that maybe Microsoft DOES purchase Yahoo and integrate their own search engine in to Yahoo's front end delivery system: so? Do ANY of you actually use MSN search? If you do, pull your head out of the sand. It's a horrible search engine that blatantly throws Microsoft all over your web search results and tries to point you to Microsoft sites for your answers. That's not a search engine. That's an advertising engine.'

This isn't to say that others are fans of the concept. Even Google is fighting the merger with Yahoo. I can see their point in pursuing the battle but part of me knows the Google Geeks are sitting back in their Starbucks-Enabled cubicles with defiant grins, wringing their hands in anticipation and yelling "Bring it on Bill.. we'll chew you up and spit you out again, just like every time before!"

In my never-quite-humble opinion, if the merger were to succeed I think it could only spur Google on to create even MORE absolutely stupendous new features. The ever-inventive staff at google.com has been banging out innovation with their daily bowls of cornflakes for years now. They need their own Chuck Norris-style fact book! "When Google loads a page, it stops over by yahoo's office and slaps the ceo and STILL has time to return faster search results!

Ok. Your opinions? I'd love to hear some REAL opinions by people who have used both. What's your favorite? Why? What do you like/hate about this merger idea?



  1. Ok man chill. Don't get your panties in a bunch.

  2. This is by far one of the longest SHALLOW opinions of the merger I have ever seen. It sounds like your practically butt buddies with google. May I remind you that YAHOO! came around way before google? May I remind you that Yahoo is still mostly free, and hence AD SUPPORTED!!! May I also remind you that while google's main page is quite open, their search results are as bad as yahoo?

    Lets go even further here. Microsoft and Yahoo both pick up a significant piece of the pie. Not as much as google but ye alas they still do. Personally, with the fresh innovation of yahoo backed by the strong financial base of microsoft, maybe it IS possible to crank out a better system with fewer ads.

    I'm guessing you think Apple and their pound puppy Mac are gods too?

    If I can't find it on google, I find it on yahoo. If I can't find it on yahoo, I find it on google. Its not like I'm searching for other search engines here. I know where I can find stuff.

    And google crying foul over this bears a striking reminder of me back in grade school on recess, when my brother would say "Hey youre cheating!" every time i won a game. If google cant take the heat, STEP DOWN! APPLE DID!

    Not that I'm defending Microsoft, but personally I think people attack MS way too much. As far yahoo, leave it alone. It was around way before google was kicking.

  3. LOL. Well, I asked for opinions and I got one! I don't agree with it, but I'm glad you took the time to comment. I appreciate seeing the view of others, especially ones with hard-edged opinions.

    In rebuttal:

    1) Yes I DO love using google services. They've saved our projects thousands of dollars throughout various utilities they have offered in the last two years. Can anyone say Google docs? Awesome platform.

    2) So, Yahoo's "Cool" stuff is "mostly" free? Umm.. ALL google's cool stuff is free...

    3) What fresh innovation has yahoo shown in the last year? All I've seen is them dropping three widely promoted applications right off the market.. all within the same 12 month period. (360, Photos, Music)

    4). I hate Apple... we agree on that one. (Well, I DO love my iPod, but I figure they've been trying sooo long to break out that even Apple deserves a pat on the back for that one. But the rest of Apple? No thanks.)

    5) You (going by your post content) and I are advanced users who remember what a "boolean search string" is.. most users don't. I do not deny that Yahoo has good results, only that you have to wade through much more crap to find the real answer you're looking for.

    6) I agree with you about Google crying foul. They should suck it up, but I guess any giant in their place would at least TRY to stop the process. Why have the competition if you don't have to. I'm a fan of google's innovation, not their legal team. That's why I applauded their design team in my post.. their geeks.. not their market representatives.

    7) And yes, Yahoo was around before Google. However:

    A) the Yahoo you're referring to was sold by the two college kids who invented it.. so the "original" yahoo died. THEN, they outsourced all their searching to Google until 2004... they didn't even like their OWN search engine, so they quit using it. This was after they bought a bunch of other search companies lock stock and barrel to try to incorporate their technology and rid themselves of competition. (They do currently however, employ their own site search again).

    And B:) Pre-existence has no bearing on quality of the product. The horse and buggy was around before the modern car, but thank god THAT died out. It's an evolutionary process and that life-cycle only grows shorter in today's digital age when a new technology can be born, thrive, and die all within 18 months.

    I don't wish Yahoo any ill health. I'd LOVE to see them step up and beat Google in something.. ANYTHING... just to see some new competition in the market. However, with the exception of Yahoo Groups (which I drastically prefer over Google Groups) they have nothing of substance to offer the internet community. And short of someone coming up with a few hundred billion dollars to start their own new search engine, I don't see anyone else in the portal-provider community doing anything relevant. (Note: MySpace and Facebook do not count...)


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