What is it about Microsoft that it seems no one wants to play with them? The global computing giant has issued an unsolicited $43 billion offer to buy Yahoo but the online portal seems to be willing to do almost anything to avoid getting into bed with Microsoft.
The logic of the move is clear to me: by teaming up both Yahoo and Microsoft can, for the first time, realistically take on search engine leader Google. This is a strategic view that I’m sure is appreciated throughout the IT community with the exception of Yahoo’s senior management it seems.
In fact Yahoo’s tactics appear to be to go the opposite way completely, by teaming up with Google in a deal that can surely only strengthen the search engine king’s grip on its throne. Yahoo has agreed to enter a trial of using Google AdSense, which will deliver relevant Google ads alongside Yahoo’s own search results. Yahoo is also reportedly in talks to take over Time Warner’s AOL internet assets. All this, it seems, to thwart Microsoft.
But why? Is it because Yahoo is fiercely independent? Or is it just fiercely opposed to being bought by Microsoft? Either way I believe that Yahoo has its sense of who is its biggest competition badly skewed.
By partnering up with Microsoft, Yahoo would have the ability to take on Google for the status of the largest online search portal worldwide (and the financial prizes that come with it). Instead, by teaming with Google and taking on its technology, Yahoo is effectively announcing that Google is better. This amounts to Google standing on the summit of Mount Internet Search Engine and then Yahoo handing it a Yahoo branded box to stand on.
Yahoo would no doubt argue that it is not just a search portal and that being number one in that regard is not the be-all and end-all. It may even add that a tie-up with Google will help drive traffic to its other portal services thus strengthening its overall standing. However, for me, it seems as though business sense has given way to good old-fashioned pride. Yahoo likes being a big fish in its own pond and it does not want to be a small fish in Microsoft’s vast silicone sea!
And meanwhile, everyone else with a vested interest in the internet, from managed hosting providers to mortgage advisors , lose out. Google is already starting to throw its weight around by changing its Adword rules to glean higher profits and now Yahoo has demonstrated that it is safe to continue its anticompetitive policies.