Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 4th May 2008 07:19 UTC, submitted by sonic2000gr
Microsoft Earlier this year, Microsoft offered to purchase search engine company Yahoo, however, the board of directors of Yahoo shot the offer down beause it 'massively' undervalued the company. This ignited an acquisition dance that took a few months, and rumours were abound as to what either of the two would do next.
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Marketshare
by handy on Sun 4th May 2008 08:08 UTC
handy
Member since:
2005-07-06

Nice to see that MS cannot buy marketshare this time... Sorry nothing more to say about this ;)

Reply Score: 8

Champagne
by jensa on Sun 4th May 2008 08:11 UTC
jensa
Member since:
2006-12-01

/me pops open his finest bottle of bubbly

Reply Score: 2

I'm not sure what to think...
by JonathanBThompson on Sun 4th May 2008 08:22 UTC
JonathanBThompson
Member since:
2006-05-26

On the one hand, perhaps if Microsoft had pursued the acquisition (and who can say right now it won't happen at a later date at a lower price after the market reacts, and depending on future performance taken into account?) I might have been lucky enough to be first given a retention bonus (1.5 billion total, don't know how it'd be distributed) and then get laid off and get several months salary. However, I also wonder what Microsoft would do both in terms of cultural changes as well as technology changes: I only use Windows XP on my laptop at work as (sometimes) a terminal to my two Linux development boxes that are used on the project I'm part of that's open source-based. Without going into too much detail, simply put, SQL Server doesn't even come close to what product I'm working on will do...

It'd suck to be stuck changing technology just for the sake of being all some internal technology, and perhaps Microsoft has learned from the past that it isn't always wise to change. However, if Microsoft does eventually buy Yahoo! they'll find themselves in the odd predicament of being a paying customer of quite a few seats of Red Hat Enterprise Linux ;)

Reply Score: 7

bye bye yahoo
by unclefester on Sun 4th May 2008 08:22 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

It is always better to be embraced by MS than destroyed. Nice knowing you yahoo.

Reply Score: 3

RE: bye bye yahoo
by sbergman27 on Sun 4th May 2008 13:33 UTC in reply to "bye bye yahoo"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

It is always better to be embraced by MS than destroyed.

Yeah. Just ask Locutus.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a1/Picard_as_Locutus.jpg

But if MS were able to destroy Yahoo! or Google... wouldn't they already have done it by now? They can't and that makes Balmer vewy angwy.

http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:_x3Pm6BdNESlnM:http://selflaugh...

Edited 2008-05-04 13:48 UTC

Reply Score: 4

CORRECTION
by atezun on Sun 4th May 2008 08:55 UTC
atezun
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is far from the end of it. All we have here is that Microsoft is publicly withdrawing their bid while they wait for Yahoo's stock to crash and burn come Monday and let it plummet for several weeks. When the stock is at what they consider an acceptable price they'll go back to a now humbled Yahoo with a much worse offer than what they're getting now.

This is nothing but a negotiation tactic. Ballmer wants Yahoo (Lord knows why?) and like it or not, Ballmer's gonna get Yahoo.

Edited 2008-05-04 08:57 UTC

Reply Score: 6

Milo_Hoffman Member since:
2005-07-06

People keep saying this over and over in various forums.

But it shows they obviously have no clue how the market works.

Sure, yahoo's stock will go down next week.

But guess what, if word gets out that Microsoft is interested again, the stock price will go right back up like magic.


People who seem to think Microsoft can just wait and swoop in to get a bargin just don't understand the stock market at all.

Reply Score: 2

RE: CORRECTION
by google_ninja on Mon 5th May 2008 00:26 UTC in reply to "CORRECTION"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Honestly, their bid was WAY more then Yahoo is worth. The thing is that yahoo has a very distinct and unique corporate culture, which is probably why it was refused.


This is nothing but a negotiation tactic. Ballmer wants Yahoo (Lord knows why?) and like it or not, Ballmer's gonna get Yahoo.


He wants yahoo because yahoo owns almost as much of the web as google does (which, incidentaly is probably why google isn't trying to buy them. Last thing they want is monopoly status).

MS has had a puzzling internet strategy. They (correctly) identified the importance of web control before almost anyone else did, however they have not really been able to land a solid strategy for competition.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: CORRECTION
by sbergman27 on Mon 5th May 2008 00:33 UTC in reply to "RE: CORRECTION"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

They (correctly) identified the importance of web control before almost anyone else did, however they have not really been able to land a solid strategy for competition.

Despite the fact that they have always had so much control over the client platform. One would not have thought it possible for them to drop this ball.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: CORRECTION
by google_ninja on Mon 5th May 2008 00:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: CORRECTION"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

They had control of the client platform, but then they didn't do anything with it for a decade or so.

They aren't the only ones though. Sun came up with applets, but totally blew it with AWT and swing. Flash filled the space for years, but it was never designed for anything but interactive movies, and is not only a bitch to program, but will bring even a high end machine to its knees.

Yahoo didn't go the way of client control, they went the way of webapp control (also the way that google has been going). But instead of dropping the ball, they have been doing a decent job of it (at least until recently)

Reply Score: 3

Comment by sonic2000gr
by sonic2000gr on Sun 4th May 2008 09:12 UTC
sonic2000gr
Member since:
2007-05-20

If nothing else, as a FreeBSD user I am relieved...
Yahoo is a major supporter of the FreeBSD project. I could not imagine FreeBSD sites running on Windows 2008 servers ;)

Reply Score: 5

Googlehate
by robinh on Sun 4th May 2008 10:45 UTC
robinh
Member since:
2006-12-19

You can almost feel the hatred for Goole in Balmer's letter - amazing stuff. Balmer strikes me as the kind of guy that could easily loose his sense of perspective, and Microsoft's petulance in this affair suggests I'm right.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Googlehate
by ari-free on Sun 4th May 2008 12:11 UTC in reply to "Googlehate"
ari-free Member since:
2007-01-22

you had high expectations of Steve ballmer? This guy?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGvHNNOLnCk

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Googlehate
by elektrik on Mon 5th May 2008 17:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Googlehate"
elektrik Member since:
2006-04-18

you had high expectations of Steve ballmer? This guy?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGvHNNOLnCk


Geez! You gotta warn people before posting stuff like that...I were scared!!!!

Reply Score: 1

RE
by Kroc on Sun 4th May 2008 10:51 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

1. Wait for share price to drop following the pull-out.
2. Put in a new offer, for less or equal
3. Profit!

Microsoft have only just started. If they can't have Yahoo, making Yahoo look weak is just as good; afterall, why do you think Microsoft was so public about this? They're gaming the press, the analysits, the journalists and all for the purpose of softening up Yahoo.

Reply Score: 11

v RE
by Nelson on Sun 4th May 2008 15:40 UTC in reply to "RE"
RE
by sbergman27 on Sun 4th May 2008 16:21 UTC in reply to "RE"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Today, in 2008, it is actually possible to overestimate what MS is capable of. With a free hand to employ all their dirty tricks of old, they might succeed. But they are now squarely within anti-trust territory regarding anything they do regarding Yahoo. And while the US might turn a blind eye to their manipulations, the EC, bless their souls, will not.

Reply Score: 4

RE
by Nelson on Sun 4th May 2008 20:29 UTC in reply to "RE"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

What, exactly is illegal about what took place here?
Absolutely nothing.

Reply Score: 4

RE
by sbergman27 on Sun 4th May 2008 21:15 UTC in reply to "RE"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

What, exactly is illegal about what took place here?

Nothing yet. (Did I imply that something was?) What I am saying is that eyes are watching, and Microsoft's freedom to act is somewhat restricted compared to what it would be otherwise. It used to be that they could count upon a blind eye being turned to their activities. But no longer.

Considering that they have been officially declared to hold a monopoly on desktop operating systems by an American court, the fact that desktop computers running Windows are the primary clients of Yahoo's servers, and the fact that MS is already a major player on the portal/search engine field, their moves regarding Yahoo fall squarely within the scope of potential antitrust infringements. By that I mean that they must be careful not to commit any actual improprieties.

Edited 2008-05-04 21:21 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE
by marafaka on Mon 5th May 2008 09:36 UTC in reply to "RE"
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

Rational. Microsoft sucks. Always.

Reply Score: 2

RE
by Karitku on Mon 5th May 2008 17:43 UTC in reply to "RE"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

You really don't understand much on business world I see. Firstly they need to do public bidding on board of directors, otherwise its called "hostile takeover", this is something you cant hide (public annoucment is standard procedure since it's way to make message to Yahoo shareholders which wouldn't otherwise maybe know it at all). Secondly Ballmer states that Microsoft isn't interested on "hostile takeover", this means buying shares from shareholders, ignoring Yahoo board of directors. Hostile takeover is always much riskier and harder plus it would also mean that FTC wouldn't allow it as easily as public takeover. Not to mention regulations.

Reply Score: 1

Yahoo
by J.R. on Sun 4th May 2008 11:29 UTC
J.R.
Member since:
2007-07-25

To be honest I get the feeling that Yahoo is not acting in the best interest of their stockholders, but rather do what the board wants for personal reasons. Yahoo is in my opinion a sinking ship as google and others are fighting for marketshares. Its been years since last time I met anyone that used Yahoo for...anything. Today everyone I know uses live or google for email, search, and whatnot.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Yahoo
by helf on Mon 5th May 2008 13:16 UTC in reply to "Yahoo"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

Funny, I see gobs of people everyday that use Yahoo!Mail, flickr, etc. etc.

ok, it's just those two services... but still ;P

Edited 2008-05-05 13:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Yahoo
by TemporalBeing on Tue 6th May 2008 04:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Yahoo"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

Funny, I see gobs of people everyday that use Yahoo!Mail, flickr, etc. etc.

ok, it's just those two services... but still ;P


Also, don't forget that a lot of ISPs have started using Yahoo! as their back-end provider for search, e-mail, etc. too. Verizon is a good example of this.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Yahoo
by TemporalBeing on Tue 6th May 2008 04:27 UTC in reply to "Yahoo"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

To be honest I get the feeling that Yahoo is not acting in the best interest of their stockholders, but rather do what the board wants for personal reasons. Yahoo is in my opinion a sinking ship as google and others are fighting for marketshares.


I think they are doing a great job. My primary e-mail account is Yahoo! and will be (now) for the foreseable future. If Microsoft had succeeded, I would take my business elsewhere. From the various reports, I've heard that is the attitude of a lot of their staff too - they don't want to work for Microsoft.

Its been years since last time I met anyone that used Yahoo for...anything. Today everyone I know uses live or google for email, search, and whatnot.


I have a gmail account too, but it'll never be my primary account. Why? The e-mail management system. Labels are nice, but they don't do the job that folders do. If anything, I'd like Labels AND folder, but if forced to chose - I choose folders.

Oh - and btw, my peak e-mail/day (excluding SPAM!) was about 1200 a few years back. I think I"m down to about 200 now (again, excluding SPAM). So please don't try to say how much better labels can do the job b/c they can't. When you get that much e-mail, the only solution is folders with rules for pushing the e-mail into them. Get a folder that has too much unrelated information in it, and it becomes a hard mess to sort out. Labels are good in theory - and probably great from a database design - but suck in actual usage of large amounts of data to an individual user.

So no..gmail will be there in the background, but that's where it'll always be. It's great for mom & pop when they get an e-mail once in a while, or for people that want a junk account, or even someone that is only on a few low-volume e-mail lists, but once you get into some major usage it quickly deteriorates - and is especially hard to set-up as easily if you are transferring from another account.

Reply Score: 1

Maybe somthing funnier will happen
by viator on Sun 4th May 2008 17:16 UTC
viator
Member since:
2005-10-11

Maybe yahoos stock price will drop. I doubt by much, and then M $ will come in with an even LOWER offer, and then Google will swoop in with M $ original offer and take it right from under their noses lmao.

Edited 2008-05-04 17:19 UTC

Reply Score: 0

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

There would be regulatory concerns if Google did that.

Reply Score: 3

Hard to swallow
by StaubSaugerNZ on Sun 4th May 2008 19:53 UTC in reply to "Maybe somthing funnier will happen"
StaubSaugerNZ Member since:
2007-07-13

Even if the acquisition is successful I'm not sure that it would work out well for Microsoft in the short term. Have you seen their balance sheet lately? Still great, if you are anyone but MS, but eroding rapidly.
If they burn up too much cash on this deal they'll have a lot less maneuver room later - especially since Windows shipments declined a whopping 24% in the last quarter See:
http://worldfinancial.blogspot.com/2008/04/microsoft-earnings-decli...

Funding the purchase with a stock issue probably won't please their current shareholders, nor impress the Yahoo shareholders - so a fair chunk of cash will necessarily be required. Cash they're gonna need.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Hard to swallow
by TemporalBeing on Tue 6th May 2008 04:34 UTC in reply to "Hard to swallow"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

Even if the acquisition is successful I'm not sure that it would work out well for Microsoft in the short term. Have you seen their balance sheet lately? Still great, if you are anyone but MS, but eroding rapidly.
If they burn up too much cash on this deal they'll have a lot less maneuver room later - especially since Windows shipments declined a whopping 24% in the last quarter See:
http://worldfinancial.blogspot.com/2008/04/microsoft-earnings-decli...


It's one of the ways you can tell that Billy G has stepped aside. To my understanding, he always kept enough money around in cash to run the company for 2 years without a single sale. Balmer is/was heavily risking that with this purchase attempt - it would have depleted all their cash.

Funding the purchase with a stock issue probably won't please their current shareholders, nor impress the Yahoo shareholders - so a fair chunk of cash will necessarily be required. Cash they're gonna need.


Well...per Microsoft - Balmer and Gates are their biggest share holders. Paul Allen divest[s|ed] as quickly as possible; and even Gates has stepped up how much he sells a day - now around 10k shares. So...not sure, but I think the primary holders of Microsoft could care less about it.

Reply Score: 1

Milo_Hoffman
Member since:
2005-07-06

People seem to keep saying over and over that 'the stock price will go down next week' and microsoft can swoop down and get a bargin.


This is rediculus. Sure yahoo's stock price will go down next week because it now looks like Microsoft will not be offering $35/share for it.


But guess what, if the market gets wind of another bid the stock price will shoot RIGHT BACK UP. Microsoft has already shown its willing to pay $35 or so so the market will expect something close to that.



Everyone saying this "Microsoft can just wait for a bargain" just does not understand the stock market.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by satan666
by satan666 on Mon 5th May 2008 00:07 UTC
satan666
Member since:
2008-04-18

Why are you guys so concerned about Yahoo's market value going up or down? Whatever Microsoft will pay that will be the real value of Yahoo. Yahoo's price is going down. So is its real value. The more time passes the better for Google. By the time Microsoft buys Yahoo, its real value and market share will be lower, and Yahoo's price will be lower. The only winner is Google. And that's just great news for consumers. I'd rather see Google doing well than Microsoft.
Microsoft showed that once it became a monopoly, it stopped innovating, forcing customers to buy their crap at high prices.

Edited 2008-05-05 00:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Microsoft's ambition
by matthekc on Mon 5th May 2008 09:02 UTC
matthekc
Member since:
2006-10-28

Microsoft's ambition is still to become a bigger player on the net so they are going to buy something. That being said whatever they buy the open source community will likely shun and maybe even actively fight. I know I personally would have closed my Yahoo mail account had the deal went through.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by moleskine
by moleskine on Mon 5th May 2008 11:08 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

It's worth asking whether Microsoft sees Google as the primary threat because Google is number 1 in its sector or because Microsoft thinks that online advertising is the most desirable place to be.

No law of nature decrees that online advertising of the Google kind will be a goldmine forever. Other companies like Apple have zero presence in online advertising and yet are hugely successful, dominate their sectors and cannot shift their products fast enough. Microsoft has a vast cash pile and plenty of other ways to spend it.

So I hope this obsession with Google isn't a case of who has the biggest swinging dick. This would suggest that Microsoft is stuck in the monopoly mindset - if you can't own and dominate a market, it isn't worth being in.

Microsoft already enjoys one monopoly and can't expect another. They need to be a little more creative about where they go from here, imho. Otherwise, surprise surprise, the sharks might start circling Microsoft, with a view to breaking up a company that apparently can't grow any further without some drastic surgery and a boardroom clear out.

Reply Score: 4

Too much Microsoft
by cmost on Mon 5th May 2008 13:01 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

Personally, I'm happy to hear that Yahoo has survived for another day without being swallowed up by the ubiquitous Microsoft. As one who opposes Microsoft on many levels because I don't agree with their business practices and I find their products and services to be sub-par, it's good to know that non-Microsoft alternatives still exist. Microsoft can no longer innovate so its only recourse is to buy companies that do innovate. Sorry Charlie, not this time. Microsoft needs to start worrying about its problematic operating systems and buggy software before worrying about purchasing its rivals.

Reply Score: 3

R.I.P.
by dmrio on Mon 5th May 2008 19:07 UTC
dmrio
Member since:
2005-08-26

Goodbye Yahoo, I will miss you.

Reply Score: 1

Worrisome recent changes at Yahoo
by fretinator on Mon 5th May 2008 19:46 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

A couple of things of late have worried me about Yahoo:

1. They cancelled their BillPay service. I had all of my accounts setup.

2. They are not taking on new websites. I have been using their SmallBusiness webhosting service for years. Just this last week I received a notice that they would not be accepting any new Smallbusinesss hosting services. Since I am always making changes, addding new services, etc, this is a bummer. They are not cancelling the existing sites yet, but you know it is a matter of time. Times to move on, I guess.

I worry for Yahoo.

Reply Score: 2