Microsoft Gets Almost Married

February 19, 2010

My feedreader has been overflowing with the news that Microsoft and Yahoo can unite in their quest to chop down Google’s Web search market share. I think that the idea is an enervating one to the execs in strategy meetings. The optimism is probably contagious. Take a gander at the ZDNet write up called “Microsoft-Yahoo approved: Now the Heavy Lifting Starts.” For me, the key passage was:

Folks, this is a big project. The companies hope to have the integration complete in the U.S. by the end of the year. Meanwhile, advertisers and publishers are expected to be migrated over before the 2010 fourth quarter holiday push. That deadline could slip to 2011. All customers globally will be transitioned to Microsoft’s platform by early 2012.

Wow. I must admit I have not paid any attention to the grand plans of the Microsoft Yahoo duo. What crossed my mind when I read this ZDNet article was:

  1. What’s the Google doing during this time? Certainly taking pot shots at its foot but probably lumbering forward even when encumbered with lots of legal briefs.
  2. Will the tie up of two companies which have not been able to make much headway in online advertising be able to get their Evinrude fired up and the bass boat into the lake? Panama took years and never really worked as well as Google’s system. Microsoft’s fixing Vista sucked up a couple of years. Both of these were priority projects and neither made my pinfeathers tingle.
  3. Users have quite a few tasty options. These include Facebook and Twitter. The Google has not been able to deal effectively with these two, and I don’t think of either Microsoft or Yahoo as set up to deal with users who may not have a combined service as a number one destination or even a number three or four destination.

In short, Microsoft and Yahoo may need to do some pretty nifty work and quickly. Without quick, decisive, compelling action, the Yahoo crowd will get mired in Microsoft. Microsoft will be Microsoft. Google may be more vulnerable to Facebook, the Chinese special section, and lawyers. I am eager to see the search solution that Microsoft and Yahoo roll out to close the gap with Google.

Stephen E Arnold, February 19, 2010

No one paid me to write this. Since I mention social activities, I suppose I will report this to the GAO’s intramural team picnic chairperson.


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