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Why Microsoft shouldn’t buy Yahoo.

February 1, 2008

Update: As of May 4 Microsoft has announced that they will not be forcing their way onto Yahoo! after all. High fives were exchanged around the executive offices afterwards at Yahoo! apparently. I would agree, although I’m glad I’ve got lots more Google stocks than Yahoo! stocks in the aftermath of the decision. I hope Yahoo! gets through it, for the sake of the internet and pure geeky, anti-establishmentism. To hell with shareholders and stock prices, do you want to become part of Microsoft’s business strategy? I think a lot of people at Yahoo! would rather die trying and ultimately see Google win the Internet War 2.0 than help string along Microsoft’s attempt to hold onto power. Out with the old, in the new I say. And the geeks shall inherit the Earth, or at least an incredibly good 3D walk-through visualization of the Earth

Original Post:

So Microsoft has decided to throw their money in the ring.


I was surprised, but apparently we’re not supposed to be, and it was clear someone was going to throw in money for Yahoo! eventually. Well, I hope it doesn’t end up being MS. I’m trying to find another reason other than that I’m a Mac-loving, Google-loving, moderately anti-MicroSoft kind of guy.
That can’t be it.
There is something deeper wrong with this.
Its wrong the same way AOL (soulless monolith of the early internet) bought upstart Netscape and basically let it die a slow death. Luckily its smart people and technology escaped that fate and let the free internet and open source development give us the current pinacle of browser technology, Firefox.

So if Microsoft gets is clutches on Yahoo!, their feature bloat, their ‘innovation-speak’ will permeate Yahoo and rob it of its last air, admittedly weak at this point , of beign an internet founder and renegade. Microsoft didn’t help found the internet, they discovered it, got scared, tried to get into it but realized they didn’t understand and are now they trying to buy it.

Google didn’t help found the internet either, they took it to the next level.
They undestand it. And it would be much more fitting for Google to prop up Yahoo than Microsoft. Of course, that might be a little too much concentration, and makes even a Google-lover like me nervious.

So what’s the solution?

If Yahoo! can’t pull itself up it should consider doing what Netscape did when it became clear they were going to be bought out. Renegade to the end, they made their code for their browser open source, undercutting the monopoly that the monopolistic AOL was trying to buy into.

Yahoo! now should do the same thing to deny MS the prize of their clients and brand. They should open up the code for yahoo mail, del.icio.us and flickr, make them public projects and let the people have them. Only that would fix Yahoo as a true internet renegade forever, save them from MS assimilation and give Google a real competitor they couldn’t buy out.
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