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?