My Simple Minded World


Posted in Video games by Omar Ismail on February 1, 2008

Well, the bomb has dropped. The 3rd biggest player in the online world is looking to buy out the biggest player in the online world. Details of the deal can be found in a million places (here’s one).

 My prognosis: Google wins.

In the key areas of competitions – search, advertising, local/maps, e-mail, IM, other services – all three companies have competitive offerings. Each company has its own strengths and weaknesses in each area. Now maybe the idea behind Microsoft is that the combined company will merge the strengths and drown out the weaknesses. Fine, maybe that’s true, but that takes time. And in the world of technology time is your greatest enemy.

Even Yahoo itself couldn’t figure out how to stick to ONE offering per sector and had internal competition with itself. Now you’re going to have competition between the two internal teams with different cultures, etc. What is going to happen? Let’s say in an ideal world that everybody gets along, the teams merge, and the best and brightest from each sector remain. In an ideal world that’ll take about a year.

This means that development on these core projects will essentially stall while the heads-up get their heads-out and manage the transition. Now through all that time Google with its cohesive teams will just keep on innovating and moving forward. All of a sudden Mi-yahoo-crosoft teams start pumping out work again and BAM they’re a year behind the curve with almost no chance of catching up.

Now OBVIOUSLY the business geniuses (and that is sincere) at Microsoft have thought about these things. So one has to imagine that there is a grand scheme behind all of this. Or maybe it really is a lesser of two evils, and the transition will happen slowly. Yahoo will continue to exist as a separate entity while Microsoft starts sending more and more of their execs over to “handle” things slowly transforming the culture. That’s how I would do it anyway.

Man… who knows what’ll happen. I wonder if Microsoft will buy Sony next.

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