Smart move by Microsoft to walk away from Yahoo. The gap in price was probably the least of the stumbling blocks in front of the deal occurring. There was just too much unhappiness evident on both sides down in the rank and file.
As a customer and partner ofÂ both, I couldn’t see how media buyers, ecomm advertisers, application developers, or content creators would have benefited. The acquisition would have created Time-Warner/AOL redux, been a clusterf%$k of the first order, and done little more than accelerate Google.
In my opinion:
1. Microsoft needs to focus on the OS for a while and get Vista to where it needs to be for the sake of the PC industry. I went to their media upfront last month in NYC — no disrespect intended — but MSFT and content has never been a match in my mind.
2. Yahoo needs to look inside at its best apps — Flickr, del.icio.us, etc. — and figure out how to move from the Semel-Braun days of content network to a SaaS powerhouse. The old portal aggregation play is toast, just not working, and further programming investments will be a disaster.
3. Microsoft needs to pin the future on Mesh and persuade users there’s a benefit to Office on the hard disk versus Google apps in the cloud. Right off — let me say the offlineÂ blog post integration in Word is a damn good precursor to the way local and cloud applications should work.