Today Yahoo announced that they have ended talks with Microsoft over the possible takeover. They adopted a strategy of teaming up with Google which makes them unattractive for any other takeover speculation which may put lawsuits that wanted Microsoft’s bank account to rest.
Who won in all this mess? Well, we all won a little. Some more so than others.
Yahoo! will not be burried in the big blue monster that many other startups went under to never be heard from again. This means the awesome technology Yahoo still has will have the chance to grow up in the silicon valley. With many senior staffers leaving new people will step into the roles and do big things. Yahoo is just fine.
Microsoft won on two fronts: financial and emotional. Financial is easy point at, they won’t be overpaying for a portal like other big companies did. Remember that AOL transaction, how did that pan out for Time Warner? So Microsoft saves a little money.
Microsoft won in a really big way, and has an opportunity for a slam dunk if they can find the people and empower them in a way to work like a startup that doesn’t have to worry about VC funding.
For the first time outside of Office and Windows family, Microsoft has a chance to prove that it can actually build a technology instead of buying, acquiring, disemboweling, castrating and crippling innovative solutions others put together.
If Microsoft can embrace this opportunity and go into the build mode – with the kind of resources and platform they have available – they will be unstoppable. Microsoft got a gift here, what will it do with it?
Most of all, we all won.
We won because Microsoft will not be able to continue business as usual and acquire the biggest kid on the block to smash into the mass market as they have done with virtually everything they do. This means Microsoft will have to think smarter, faster and focus on quality – something that most of us would love to get from Redmond.
We won because Microsoft will not be able to extinguish the technologies that compete with them for the 2nd and 3rd tier – blogging and social platforms, chat, webmail – you name it, we will still have a number of choices and when there is no clear winner there are always a lot of players.
We won because Microsoft didn’t get its hands on Zimbra – the only legitimate contender with Microsoft Exchange IMHO. This means Exchange gets to flourish, as does Zimbra. Nobody gets to rest, so we all win.
We won because nothing has to die. Yahoo stays Yahoo. Microsoft stays Microsoft. Google stays Google. There is no “synergy” in this equation, meaning your del.icio.us will not have to migrate into Live.com crapware, flickr won’t have to become part of Google Picassa, etc.
Whoever becomes the dominant solution will now have to do it because of the work they put into their business…. and isn’t that really the triumph of American capitalism, that you get to fight for what you want?