Well, it’s over, thank goodness. Microsoft has walked away from their unsolicited bid for Yahoo. Whew! Deep sigh of relief from many Yahoo senior employees. But predictions are for an ugly day on Wall Street for Yahoo Monday morning – with a potential return by Microsoft with a lower bid after Yahoo tanks in the markets.
It’s frustrating to those of us who love search to watch this epic battle, knowing that Microhoo may yet emerge from the burning embers. I commented in my last post that the Yahoo Open Strategy announced by Ari Balogh last week at Web 2.0 introduced some exciting prospects for the future of search if they can successfully pull it off and Microsoft doesn’t win the merger through a lower offer and proxy battle. Well nobody has even commented in the news about the effect the YOS could have, not even Microsoft.
Maybe I’m way off base with this one, but I’m going to stick to my assertions until we see how this all shakes out. If Yahoo survives to stand on it’s own and can put together the strategy for opening up their entire network to developers in a sweeping move like they’ve outlined – I predict that Yahoo could overtake Google in two years – but only if Google stands still and watches – which is not likely either.
Danny Sullivan has an excellent analysis and commentary on the Microsoft / Yahoo / Microhoo battle. I’m surprised that he didn’t bring up Yahoo Open Strategy either – is it because nobody expects them to survive to see where that could take them? What if the merger happened – would Ballmer nix YOS?
I’m no Yahoo fan. I’ve disliked their strategy for years, I hate how they buy up companies and then kill them off or let them die within Yahoo, I can’t believe they didn’t leverage GeoCities and Yahoo Groups to become a social networking leader. I’m astonished that they aren’t more profitable than they are because they emphasize monetization above audience satisfaction and utility. (Yahoo mail still doesn’t allow pop access unless you pay for it when gmail allows this access, even using imap.) So I don’t use my Yahoo mail account except to log in to the few services I use like MyBlogLog, Yahoo Groups and Flickr.
The public seems completely uninterested in the whole thing if Google Trends is any indication. The chart showing searches for the story and news stories seem to drive little interest. (click to enlarge)
Well – I will once again throw out a cautious cheer for Yahoo and hope that they survive the Wall Street rollercoaster to pursue Yahoo Open Strategy as it is their best hope for a true contribution to search. Without YOS – it’s over for Yahoo IMHO.