Microsoft's New Math: 2 + 3 = 1

from the merger-mania dept

Recently, rumors surfaced that eBay was exploring partnerships in hoping to fend off a possible threat from Google. Naturally, Yahoo and Microsoft were thrown out as possible allies. Now, Microsoft may be doing the same dance, with some suggesting that the company has explored some sort of tie up with Yahoo. Possibilities include merging MSN with Yahoo, Microsoft taking an equity stake in Yahoo, or even an outright purchase, though that seems unlikely. Like the eBay rumors, which seemed hard to justify, nobody can find a rational explanation of how merging two search laggards will create a stronger product. What’s funny is that many of these same rumors were first floated over 6 years ago, when everyone was scrambling to stop the AOL juggernaut. AOL wasn’t brought down because someone created a better ISP; they were brought down because there was a better model out there. At this point, Microsoft might do better trying to figure out what will disrupt the search engine, as opposed to just copying the leader. If Microsoft and Yahoo are considering some sort of marriage, they might do well to look back at the merger between HP and Compaq. Simply combining the second and third players in an industry isn’t enough to create a new number one. At least in that case, the companies had actual infrastructure, channel partners, and customers to combine — in this case MSN could probably merge with Yahoo by unplugging their servers, and setting up to forward Does that count as a synergy?

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Comments on “Microsoft's New Math: 2 + 3 = 1”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Good Point

Yup, if companies dont start actually thinking again, a good most of the corporations are gonna suffer

instead of thinking, they merge, so what happens when they are 2 or 3 steps away from being one global conglomerate dealing from stamped dog tags for the pooch on the net to plasma tvs and cars?

either the damn antitrust laws will finally kick in and force them to actually innovate, or more likely, they will just buy their way past it…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Merge merge merge

“Looks like its Mating season for companies, Sprint & Nextel, HP & Compaq, MSN & Yahoo..”

Mating season? Are you high? These mergers span five years. HP/Compaq in 2001, Sprint & Nextel in 2004, and MSN & Yahoo….never?

When you comment, assume that the people reading your comments are trying to GAIN something. But what can you expect from someone who uses their name to promote another shitty porn site.

Can a MOD rip that comment out? Really, it was just a way to get a link in, and avoid being pulled as advertising.

Keith (user link) says:

We all know

Microsoft doesnt know the meaning of innovation, thats obvious in almost everything they have done. Yahoo might, but if it where to be a merger you can bet that Microsoft wouldnt give over the reigns. Maybe Apple can design something, then Microsoft can steal it and attempt to make it better, but hopefully it wont take them as long as it has with Longhorn/Vista ๐Ÿ˜‰

Still Another anonymous coward says:

Re: We all know

I disagree – Microsoft does innovate. Licensing, DRM, and manditory upgrades are all innovative ways of making money. They are exemplary capitalists – they exist to make money, not to make you happy. And, if you expect their innovation to be for your benefit, you’d be better off trying to find free beer.

Dante says:

Re: We all know

You’re an idiot sir, they may have slackened in recent years, but you don’t become a multibillion dollar company by copying a bunch of little shit for nothing companies. ou get their by creating something better then anyone else has. This merger is a bad idea, but Microsoft bashing for no other reason to poke a jab at them is not wanted around here or anywhere else that is decently civilized.

So gtfo


Tim says:

Agreed Keith

Microsoft will disrupt Google by trying to use its usual tricks. ie. Bundling MSN search tighter with Windows, just like it did with Internet Explorer and Media Player. And just like most people expected, once IE gained a monoploy position, Microsoft shut it down.

Google is too big I hope for these tricks to work, but Microsoft does have a monopoly on the desktop and it can force its will.

Brian says:

Re: Agreed Keith

Microsoft doesn’t have a monopoly on desktops, they have the majority of market share. There is no monopoly on desktops, there is plenty of competition, people are just used to windows and prefer it, or their employer prefers it. But there isn’t and has never been a monopoly of the desktop by MS. Also, they don’t have a monoply on IE, a case was brought against them, but was ruled that it wasn’t a monopoly. In europe, they lost a case about bundling media center, and now have to build a different version of vista for europe. Majority of market share is not the same as a monopoly

Chris says:

Re: Microsoft is the leader

Umm, this reply is coming from a box with zero Microsoft software on it, so your point is not valid.

Personally, my dislike for Microsoft, as a web developer, is that they don’t play by the standards. Everything I have to do, I have to do twice, once for the standards compliant browsers, and then a special, short bus version for all the Internet Exploder users out there.

Jeff G. says:

MS Innovation

Though not a MS apolgist like number 7 there, I think the commenters in general might be dismissing MS’ abilities a bit. Its “live” service – to the extent it has been developed – is far superior to Googles in terms of operability and customization. It is far more processor-intensive, but offers a better mapping system and a better ‘home page’ experience. I haven’t used the search functions much, but from what I’ve found it is as good, if not better. If load times could be decreased, it would be far superior to, or MS’ email offerings are nowhere near as good as google’s, but still are not horrible and it has a calendaring advantage with proliferation of Outlook that unfortunately the ‘monopoly’ tag may not let them exploit.

Anyway. I think MS has a better grasp on getting established in its next-generation services than what most people are giving them credit for. Like google, if you build the services, the advertising will come.

WirelessGuy says:


Why do you like microsoft so much people??? They steal other people’s ideas and are the only thing worse than patent trolls. They even stole the UI for the iPod by patenting that before Apple, which was a big blunder by Apple, but still….what have they ever done that was original? They also make my commute to work horrible here in Seattle and the cost of living impossible unless you wish to work for the evil empire.

They are suppose to open up code in Europe and pay a fine every day they don’t, they are getting nailed once again in California for anti-trust and they can’t figure out if they want 1 or 50 versions of their OS because they want to figure out how they can best screw the world. Balmer is so focused on killing google that they are investing Billions to figure out how.

Google is an advertising company wrapped up as a search engine. MS should focus on losing its share of Server space, improving costs around office products and making an OS that is secure and affordable. If they don’t do that now, 10 years from now the Linux world with Ajax, MySQL and Oracle looking to wrap within Linux will pass them by and we will look back on Windows like we do Ma Bell.

I agree that if they want to merge Yahoo search with MSN, that all they are doing is redirecting traffic and not improving anything. SIMPLY MAKE IT BETTER AND THEY WILL COME.

Hairball says:

Re: Huh

Since when has ethics ever had to do with business? As far as I’m concerned, MS has a superior OS. And I’ve had no problems keeping windows secure. or are routers notsoez for some people? I used to think linux = servers and windows = desktop, but MS Server software apparently has less security gaps than *nix according to some story i read. but all that aside, I think windows dominates in usability. If i thought linux was worth the trouble of learning for “better” performance, stability, security etc, then i would move to linux. But I think the blame for windows sucking should fall in the laps of the users. Windows can be secure. you just need someone to maintain it.

There is a reason MS dominates desktop OS markets and that is due to usability. You can do anything in windows that you can do in linux. Having used both, i feel that it’s easier to do in *nix. I guess my point is that *nix and win are equivalents. They both have their problems and they both have their strengths. It just comes down to personal preference. But I’m not going to stop pirating my OS because I don’t like the company’s ethics. I’m sure they don’t like my ethics either. so we’re even ๐Ÿ˜›

Dr. Evil says:

Blah Blah Blah BLAH!

Where’s that “Arguing on the intarweb is like…” picture when you need it!


Microsoft does occasionally innovate. Believe it or not, they did a lot to bring an operating system to the ‘masses’, one that was fairly user friendly (Outside of the constant crashing!).

In a way, the guy (The True – #7) is correct when he says that ‘you wouldn’t be here’… I would rephrase it to say that ‘most of you’ wouldn’t be here…

MS does a lot to abstract the inner complexities of computer HW by way of introducing outer complexities via their software… It ain’t perfect and it is a trade off, but it is, apparantly, what millions of users ‘want’… Contrary to what you conspiracists wish to beleive, there are alternatives out there, and people are beginning to embrace them, but it ain’t happening in droves!


kman says:

Re: RE: Blah...

Innovation is a way overused term. Folks used to say Japanese never innovated because they took our ideas and made vastly superior products. Being able to commercialize ideas is even more important in many ways.

Microsoft is the same way – they take emerging ideas and actually turn them into products that people want to and can use. MS Office saved the Macintosh. Even Visual Basic was pretty amazing. (I taught financial analysts programming – wow – try that on *nix). And their integration across Office Products is really great.

They brought the PC to the masses, which is a remarkable achievement. *nix is still an abysmally antiuser operating system geared towards hypergeeks.

Anyway – MS’s main competition is SONY, iPod, Motorola, cable, and BlackBerry, NOT Google. MS will become increasingly less relevant as people move away from traditional keyboard/mouse/monitor devices to devices more geared towards usability by normal folks.

If anything, MS’s greatest flaw is that it’s locked the world into this paradigm for far more years than needed by making the PC so easy to use. It’s kind of like the US not wanting SmartCards because our credit card system is so mature.

Smaca says:

Re: Re:

That’s funny I can’t think of anything you have done that’s original. Let’s face it If you’re using Linux as a desktop you’re looking for something to prove. I know as well as the rest of you people that you spend 99% of your time trying to get Linux to work like Windows & 1% using Linux. Give me the crashes of the 90’s compared to the thousands of hours waisted poeple have spent trying to get Linux running like Windows.

NOTE: Uses Windows XP / Fedora & DSL Linux on home machines HAHAHA

someone says:

Re: new OS

i personallly think MS is taking this google threat a bit too seriously, yeah they take every threat seriously but comn, what % of the population would acutally go out and by a google created OS? and what PC manufacturer would acutally risk capital on doing that? not to mention the corporate customers, i dont see companies moving away from windows/office platform anytime soon, its way too risky for them to do that, unless ofcource someone comes out with a true human integrated OS/or whatever you would call it…kinda like minority report, then we’re talking

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: new OS

Maybe not overnight but look at what google has done up to this point. Before google MSN was the go to site for searches. Once google came around MSN fell. Google is now at the frontlines of 80% of any informational search, next they went on to google maps, almost doing in with mapquest, then gmail, google video, Froogal, theres no reason they could not venture to other computer solutions. If google released an OS I would give it a shot and I’m sure many others would as well

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: new OS

I agree with JH. One thing that google does lack is rich content, look at the finance site, its pretty half a$$ if you really look at it, besides the ajax chart they have. It redirects you to other sites for all other information such as options/insider transactions, now yahoo on the other hand has it all in one page. this is why I still use yahoo finance instead of google. little by little they are basically ajax-ing these apps and presenting to users, originality? or lack there of? search is one thing but how often am i going to be searching? what happens when i find what im searching? thats it…google is simply a means to an end

Googler says:

Innovate, Inihilate

Google, no matter how you slice it is a one trick pony. Strip away their advertising revenue, and Google is yesterday’s news.

MS knows this. And they have ID’d Ad revenue as a priority. They have the resources to effectively attack Google where it hurts the most: ad dollars. Microsoft is a seasoned warrior. They are accustomed to entering the battlefield late and with dull swords. As the day progresses, their swords get sharper and their strategy improves… They march on, taking no prisoners.

With 95% browser market share, analysts declared Netscape “the computing revolution… an unstoppable force”

We know the rest of this, and similar stories…

JH says:

Google, AOL repackaged?

A few comments here:

1) Apple already has a great OS / HW model – no need for Google to continue to mimic things already in market (granted they do some better).

2) Remember Netscape = that small company that essentially ignited the commercial aspects of the Internet – they had >90% market share, >70M installed clients, >$500M in rev and still got killed by M$ (note: I am not a fan or share holder of M$ – just stating a fact).

3) One has to seriously think beyond the hype and look at what Google is really innovating – it’s not email, maps, instant messaging, search, blogs, directories, news, photos, etc. They did a good job with advertising – but beyond that Google has been simply re-packaging AOL, Yahoo, MSN services in AJAX – in my opinion, not a strong long term strategy.

Fox McCloud (user link) says:

Like windows, but not microsoft?

I see this time and time again. People post that they hate microsoft. They post that windows costs too much. They post things over and over about how they don’t really hate the software, just the company that makes it. Then I post telling people to get off their ass and do a google search for “ReactOS” to get an opensource operating system that’s identicle to windows (looks like win2k, actually) and nobody ever responds. Sometimes I even get a link for them. Today I’m at work, plus I’m not THAT bored, so I’m not going t get a link, but do a Google/MSN/Yahoo/Ask/billybob Search for ReactOS and then quit complaining. It’s like windows, without microsoft.

And once you get it installed, drop by my blog and thank me. Adios.

Matt says:

HP/Compac Merger

“they might do well to look back at the merger between HP and Compaq. Simply combining the second and third players in an industry isn’t enough to create a new number one.”

-Actually merging the 2nd and 3rd did in fact create the new number 1. The HP/Compaq merger did in fact overtake the number one at the time, Dell, and now remains the Number one in the industry.

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