There is much scuttle today about the idea of Microsoft and Yahoo! entering into at least preliminary discussions around the idea of somehow coming together to form an alliance. The most obvious theory, of course, is that they are potentially scared of Google; so this is a desperate act.
Personally, I think it’s far from a desperate act. Despite the meteoric flight of Google stock since the IPO and the bumps and bruises that Yahoo! and Microsoft have taken of late, both of those companies have a lot to offer and could probably continue to do just fine on their own.
More than anything, this just seems to be a good opportunity for companies to look for the strengths in one another and leverage that. No sense spending billions of dollars in R&D and years in man-time to redesign a wheel.
By coming together, these two companies can pick up tremendous strengths with handshakes, pen strokes, and – yes – still several billion dollars moving around.
I won’t dare take credit as the first to put forth this idea, but instead of one company devouring the other, they really ought to keep their identities and pull resources from one another.
Microsoft has long been known as a tech/software company (commentary and opinion on that aside). Yahoo! on the other hand has been an online player since almost the beginning. Where MS fails miserably is in getting any appreciable audience online. Activate the wonder twin powers with Yahoo! and voila, instant new online audience and network.
Yahoo!, on the other hand, has long known how to build communities and work with advertisers, but they can’t put out useful tech for advertisers to save their tails (ahem, Panama). If they throw the coding up to Redmond, within weeks they’ve moved light years ahead.
It’s an intriguing idea, and one that I, as an online marketer, would be very happy to see happen, but not because they are scared of Google. I’d just be happy to have another, strong, viable marketplace where my clients can find even more success.