Friday, February 1, 2008

Microsoft sets out to take over Yahoo!

News out today tells us that Microsoft made a $44.6 billion bid to take over Yahoo. The Enterprise 2.0 world has been wondering where Microsoft has been in this revolution, and now Microsoft has finally come to the party. In this blog, we’ve written several times about Microsoft’s lack of effort to match Google (Taking the lead in enterprise search, Future Product Releases for Google Apps, Whatcha Gonna do when Google Comes for You?) and their increasing interest in Office like software to help the revolution of collaboration online.

Now we see what Microsoft has been waiting on: the ideal time to buy Yahoo! This week in the New York Times, an article discussed Yahoo and its tough final quarter in 2007, and they are expected to lay off at least 1,000 people. It’s not hard to see why this is happening. At the end of 2007, Google had a 68.1% search engine market share, and Yahoo had 17% of the search engine market share. They were #2 on the list.

From an Enterprise 2.0 perspective, we automatically wonder what this merger means for the Google/Microsoft rivalry? Google has been trying to take the Internet market for the software they’ve been developing specifically for Internet collaboration in Google Docs. They’re one up on collaborative work essential to E2.0. Now Microsoft, with a few modifications to their software, can unleash a landslide on this market. We all know that people like to use what they are familiar with. When it comes to word processing, it’s defiantly Microsoft Word. If Microsoft can collaborate with Yahoo, and bring this technology to the web, it will take off.

From a commercial search standpoint, Yahoo now has a huge sponsor that is not willing to let its ship sink. Microsoft will take the proper actions to change what needs to be changed and update the Yahoo! Platform to something the people will use. They will be able to give consumers a choice again when it comes to Google.

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