Microsoft & Yahoo Merger?
I have to admit that when I first heard about this a few days ago, I was initially sceptical and very dubious of Microsoft’s proposed merger with Yahoo. My thinking here was that Microsoft was a big and ungainly monolith already, without adding additional baggage. Their MSN brand (since subsumed under the Windows Live umbrella) has solidly ticked-over, but never once truly snapped at Google’s heels.
Microsoft seemed to have lost its wow-factor in recent years and, with exception of Office 2007, its overwhelming successes have been few and far between. Of course, the cold-to-lukewarm reception that Vista enjoyed in its first year of availability is a case in point: of 250 million windows PCs sold, only 100 million were running Vista – leading the observer to the conclusion that 150 million or so machines must have shipped with the previous OS, Windows XP. And what a rocky and tumultuous road, that proved – getting Longhorn out of the door as I documented over a year ago: a meandering journey through 5 years of bumbling development, lack of direction and a culling of previously promised features.
The innumerable antitrust actions that the Redmond giant had been slapped with in the past decade must also be factored-in. Few regulators are prepared to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt now, with Europe taking a particularly tough stance.
That said, Paul Thurrott makes a number of very interesting points and explains why, perhaps, the Microsoft/Yahoo merger is a major step forwards for both the company and the wider internet-surfing public alike. Without it, Microsoft may well continue losing ground against Google in the battle of the titans, with the latter going on to take over the world entirely. Or something like that.
But seriously, Paul’s analysis is usually right on the money. As he points out, “Google is a new kind of competitor and needs to be addressed differently.” Equally, Microsoft, unlike Google and Yahoo still doesn’t ‘get’ the internet, the way the online and computing world is heading and the whole ‘cloud computing’ concept that’s descending on the world right now. As he neatly sum-ups, “Yahoo will bring a healthy attitude about platform-agnostic cloud computing to the insular world of Microsoft and, hopefully, inspire the company to reach for the future instead of just defending the past.”