What seemed inevitable three months ago turned out to be impossible, at least for now. At press time Microsoft walked away from its proposed acquisition of Yahoo, leaving bloggers to look for takeaways about the future of the industry.
Henry Blodget of Silicon Alley Insider didn’t hide where his sympathies lay. “(Microsoft CEO) Steve (Ballmer) made a generous offer for a company whose competitive position and fundamentals have been deteriorating for more than three years — and for three months, the company treated him like a disease,” he wrote.
From a technology perspective, Appscout’s Mark Hachman suggested there were still some favourable outcomes, even though the merger never happened. “First, Yahoo’s Panama engineers know they have a job waiting for them in Redmond, and Microsoft could simply slowly aggregate the search talent it wants. Microsoft still has fundamental problems with its online strategy, namely the way it vomits content onto its MSN page,” he said. “A targeted search engine could also begin to refine that content somewhat, using historical searches and contextual information to present a more relevant page. That would also allow MSN to redesign itself in a cleaner, more Google-like image.”
At Data Centre Knowledge, Rich Miller was more concerned with the impact on IT infrastructure. “On the data center front, the deal’s collapse means we won’t be seeing a massive integration of the two companies’ facilities, and that Microsoft won’t wind up running major services on rival open source technologies,” he said. “The deal’s failure probably makes life less complicated for Rackable (RACK) and DuPont Fabros (DFT), who rely on Microsoft and Amazon for the bulk of their revenue.”
That’s not to say another mega-merger might not happen instead. The Wall Street Journal reported a possible deal between Microsoft and AOL, while others suggested a Google-Yahoo combination. Newsvisual.com offers a really interesting “knowledge map” to illustrate the personal connections of the two firm’s boards of directors. The blog post added, “These erstwhile rival companies could be using this network of personal connections to rally against Microsoft’s efforts to gain a beachhead in the Silicon Valley search engine market.”