Sunday, September 21, 2008

Do We Really Want Microsoft to Take Over Yahoo

The above is a spoof of what the Yahoo home page might look like if Microsoft took over Yahoo. Can you see where to log into Yahoo mail? Can you see where to do a web search?

It may sound heresy to say this, especially since I own Yahoo (YHOO) at a loss, but maybe it is just as well that the company didn't get taken over by Microsoft (MSFT), which I also own. Have you looked at the Vista operating system? No wonder so many companies are unwilling to upgrade.

Or even Office 2007. Have you upgraded from 2003? Do you like losing all the menus? Have you tried looking for Headers and Footers in Microsoft Word 2007? Have you tried looking for the drawing toolbar in Excel 2007 to draw an arrow on a spreadsheet [don't bother looking, the drawing toolbar no longer exists], or tried doing charts the old fashioned way?

Why would Microsoft get rid of the menus that so many Office users are used to and replace them with tabs and ribbons? Why no option to change to Classic View? Are they just trying to keep the software training companies and software how-to book publishers in business?

The final straw is those two commercials with Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld, for which Seinfeld was paid $10 million. Those commercials have now been withdrawn. What was Microsoft selling? Brand recognition??? Obviously, you can blame the advertising agency, but it is the company that makes the final decision on the ads.

I really like Yahoo! Finance, and so do 18 million other people every month. I would hate to see the top American financial web site 'change'.

Maybe there are better business partners for Yahoo. Here are a few suggestions, some of which may be considered a bit of a stretch, of possible buyers: Apple (AAPL), Sony Corp. (SNE), News Corp. (NWS-A), Viacom (VIA-B), Disney (DIS), CBS Corporation (CBS), and even Time Warner (TWX). I think even Amazon (AMZN) would be a better fit.

Author owns YHOO, MSFT, DIS, AMZN, and TWX.

By Fred Fuld at

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