RAWR! Microsoft Hungry!

Today it was announced that Microsoft is offering to buy Yahoo for $44.6 Billion. I am not a financial analyst or highly trained in business, but when I read, “With Microsoft paying a full price for a broken business where there’s not accelerating organic growth, I can’t make that work at all. I don’t see what they get out of it. The strategy behind the deal was wrong.” (Jon Fisher) the first thing that comes to mind is that Microsoft is simply not concerned about purchasing a successful business. They are interested in removing potential competition.

Then I read that “the Justice Department said it is ‘interested’ in reviewing antitrust issues” and realized that I don’t need to be an expert to question the motivations of a monster corporation that’s been scrutinized in the past. (I originally read about antitrust issues in this article, but upon reloading the page I noticed that sentence had mysteriously disappeared. Is that part now deemed unimportant?)

What kind of changes would MS make with their newly acquired toy?
Speculation is they may move away from LAMP (a la Hotmail) and questions are flying about what that might mean for PHP since Yahoo is one of its larger contributors.

I asked Dave to explain LAMP in lay terms: “Linux, apache, mysql, php, it’s a common “stack” for web development…in computer land a stack is a bunch of technology on top of each other. Linux is the OS, Mysql is the database that runs the data on Linux, PHP is the software that plays with the data on mysql which all runs on Linux, and apache is the software running on linux that serves the PHP that is playing with the mysql.”

So for all the Yahoos out there, an MS purchase would mean more than just new business cards. It could affect not only the tools they use daily, but also the very nature of those tools. For the rest of us, it would mean less competition in the innovative field of technology and an ever-growing monster corporation that could potentially set a precedent for future oligopolies. The innovation side of it I’m not terribly concerned about, what with the melee of startups out here, but the increased power and wealth of a Yahoo-consuming Microsoft is unsettling. I guess I’m not the only one.

If you’re interested, TechCrunch has graphs and speculation of what a combined Microsoft-Yahoo would look like and the internal email to MS employees explaining the offer to buy Yahoo.

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5 thoughts on “RAWR! Microsoft Hungry!

  1. wow. thanks for all the info. i plan to talk with army about all of this tonight. any idea when we’ll all know if the deal is final? i suppose we cannot know this until it’s announced…but i want to know now. thinking of you and dave with more possible transition ahead….awwww, transitions….grumble grumble.

  2. When Microsoft bought Hotmail for $400 million, they weren’t paying for the technology to deliver mail on a webpage, they were paying for the users, its like when a newspaper buys another newspaper, they pay for the subscribers, not the printing press.

  3. But the point in referencing the Hotmail purchase is that they made the switch from open-source tools and it was a pain in the ass.

  4. I’m sure everyone knows by now, but just in case you don’t, Yahoo did turn down the offer. I guess I’m not entirely surprised and it does come as a relief to me for various reasons, most of which I mentioned above.

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