Exciting times, Friday morning on the way to work I heard the message on the radio that in fact Microsoft was going to buy Yahoo, this story was out last year but ended up as nothing until Friday, to me the rumors had all even disappeared.
Then the rest of the stories all trickle out.
As we all know google owns the internet right now with something like 65% of the search volume and Yahoo and Microsoft through their properties own much of the rest with Facebook, My Space and the rest of the social media getting the rest. You can really break all of this down in two areas, advertising depth and online pageviews and influence.
Microsoft is a very powerful company when it comes to advertising and marketing but they have not been able to won the internet, very strange to me but I am sure there are people that have a really good idea why being an only somewhat late entrant has costed them so much on the internet, I can not imagine how. Google and the Google AdWords and now Doubleclick networks are easily the number one company on the internet as far as control over advertising and marketing goes and Microsoft in buying Yahoo gets a network to ad to the MSN AdWords type network in Yahoo’s YPN network. This is a real chance for Microsoft to finally get in the game.
Online Pageviews and Influence
Search is not everything but Google owns that market as I said. As far as content goes you could say that Microsoft and Yahoo own more content then Google but that could change very rapidly. Google at this point is giving us all the services inline that we need be it Google Reader for RSS Google News for getting individualized news, GMail for email and many more things. The big content that Google has of course is YouTube. What we will likely see in the nearer future though is a real push for an office suite that is bigger than Google docs and spreadsheet and of course Google has the datacenter to house all of the data that they need.
So now that there is probably going to be a merger the fun part left is to watch what each of the companies does with the influence that they have and watching the spin that Google and Microsoft, and even Yahoo throws out there.
In the end the internet is not much different then any other medium that we have had be it books, newspapers, radio or TV in that there will eventually be some kind of consolidation and hopefully enough competition so that hte marketplace does not stagnate as we probably had with Microsoft and the OS and Office suites. We need this competition for innovation but at the same time too much fragmentation on the internet stops the industry from having a big gun or two to have the money to make big change for us. Both Microsoft and Google do have big money.