Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Yahoogle or Microhoo! – The Yahoo takeover question.

Big Three to become Big Two?

In industry terms I don't think there's any news that could be bigger than this; the biggest software company in the world wants to take over the biggest Internet portal in the world so that together they may take on the biggest search engine in the world.

Antitrust cases notwithstanding - both Stateside and here in Europe - the real question is will it work? Microsoft and Yahoo have two very different ways of operating, two very different philosophies and they've been rivals for so long one wonders could they ever work together.

The war of words between Microsoft and Google has been raging for some time now and recently rumours surfaced that a Yahoo and Google alliance may also be on the cards. Such an alliance appears to be a more palatable option for Yahoo and seems to make more sense too. Microsoft are renowned for their aggressive takeovers, and might be more interested in simply stripping away services which they cannot see the benefit of and rebranding the rest. Honestly, I just can't see Microsoft and Yahoo working hand in hand, though I find a harmonious Yahoo/Google merger easier to envision.

But let's just say, for arguments sake, that a Microsoft/Yahoo merger does go ahead and they manage to work together brilliantly, will this be the end of Google? I doubt it. Might be trouble for Gmail, or Google Talk, but Google at this stage is more than just a brand, it's a verb.
When you're looking for something you "Google it", you don't Yahoo it - and when was the last time you heard anyone say, "look it up on MSN?"

In search terms, Google gets the gold and Yahoo the silver. Poor ole MSN gets the bronze medal for search, and has lost out quite considerably on the email and instant messenger market too.
By merging with Yahoo, Microsoft stands to gain Yahoo's entire market share. Imagine, every Yahoo mail user AND every Hotmail user, combined. That's a lot of people and its a lot of power.

If Google and Yahoo merge though... woooo! There is no hope that Microsoft could ever come close to them in terms of search, not to mention email, chat, advertising, portals and web clout in general.

Yahoogle (with ancillary alliances with Adobe, Firefox, et all) would be the undefeated, undisputed heavyweight champion of the worldwide web and I'd imagine Microsoft would try to do whatever it takes, including throwing obscene amounts of money at Yahoo, to make sure this doesn't happen. By going to Google, Yahoo have basically invoked Microsoft's worst nightmare so I wouldn't be at all surprised if we're witnessing the beginning of a bidding war.

Of course, it could all just turn out to be hype and hot air too, but whatever happens, for those of us involved in e-marketing, the world will never quite be the same.
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Brionglóid Media said...

Hmm, now it seems that Rupert might be getting in on the act!