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Finster
05-06-08, 08:48 AM
Microsoft needs Yahoo. Or so says the punditry. Microsoft needs Yahoo in order to get a leg up on Google in the online search and advertising space. But they never tell us why Microsoft needs to get a leg up on Google in the online search and advertising space in the first place.

Following the same incomplete logic, we can conclude that Microsoft needs to buy XM in order to compete with Sirius in the satellite radio space. It must buy Merck in order to compete with Pfizer in the pharmaceutical space. It must buy Conoco Philips in order to compete with Exxon Mobil in the energy space.

Why must Microsoft become a media and adverising company? Is the PC revolution over? Has it perfected the operating system and software? Not from where I sit! Judging from the incremental progress is seems to make with each new "bold step forward", it hasn't a clue. The so-called "operating systems" it releases are about 1% operating system and 99% bells and whistles, bloatware that hogs so much system resources that my multi-core super-gigahertz system is slower than my old i386. I refuse to "upgrade" my trusty old MS Excel 95 to a phatter, slower, flakier version.

It speaks loudly about "innovation", but the OS is still DOS - a Disk Operating System - that has to be loaded from a disk drive into memory, just like it was decades ago. As a result you have to have something else to operate your system just to load the operating system, not to mention the interminable wait, the risk of hard drive crash, the hopelessly complex interplay between software and operating system that makes for a fragile environment vulnerable to corruption from external invasion, infection, and any number of other things that can go wrong. Microsoft may be the only company in the world with the market might to introduce something truly new and superior and pull it off, but instead it's getting bogged down in media and advertising.

What Microsoft needs is to regain its vision. If it fails, one fine day, somebody over in China or India will do for the US computer industry what the Japanese did for the US auto industry.

GRG55
05-06-08, 11:15 AM
Microsoft needs Yahoo. Or so says the punditry. Microsoft needs Yahoo in order to get a leg up on Google in the online search and advertising space. But they never tell us why Microsoft needs to get a leg up on Google in the online search and advertising space in the first place.

Following the same incomplete logic, we can conclude that Microsoft needs to buy XM in order to compete with Sirius in the satellite radio space. It must buy Merck in order to compete with Pfizer in the pharmaceutical space. It must buy Conoco Philips in order to compete with Exxon Mobil in the energy space.

Why must Microsoft become a media and adverising company? Is the PC revolution over? Has it perfected the operating system and software? Not from where I sit! Judging from the incremental progress is seems to make with each new "bold step forward", it hasn't a clue. The so-called "operating systems" it releases are about 1% operating system and 99% bells and whistles, bloatware that hogs so much system resources that my multi-core super-gigahertz system is slower than my old i386. I refuse to "upgrade" my trusty old MS Excel 95 to a phatter, slower, flakier version.

It speaks loudly about "innovation", but the OS is still DOS - a Disk Operating System - that has to be loaded from a disk drive into memory, just like it was decades ago. As a result you have to have something else to operate your system just to load the operating system, not to mention the interminable wait, the risk of hard drive crash, the hopelessly complex interplay between software and operating system that makes for a fragile environment vulnerable to corruption from external invasion, infection, and any number of other things that can go wrong. Microsoft may be the only company in the world with the market might to introduce something truly new and superior and pull it off, but instead it's getting bogged down in media and advertising.

What Microsoft needs is to regain its vision. If it fails, one fine day, somebody over in China or India will do for the US computer industry what the Japanese did for the US auto industry.

Hear, hear! Couldn't agree more. Every "modern" PC sold with MS's operating system should be an embarrassment to Ballmer and to Microsoft.

If the computers in our cars were as difficult to use as PCs, people would have stopped buying new cars by now. Instead all those computers go about doing their business in the background, requiring not a whit of "retraining" on the part of drivers.

The one glaring exception is BMW's overcomplicated iDrive. But then the iDrive operating system was based on Microsoft's CE Automotive... :p

Ballmer should forget about Yahoo and fix the damn operating system. Until then I'm sticking with my ancient NT operating system laptop, and toy with the idea of moving to a Mac.

Milton Kuo
05-06-08, 06:50 PM
Microsoft needs Yahoo. Or so says the punditry. Microsoft needs Yahoo in order to get a leg up on Google in the online search and advertising space. But they never tell us why Microsoft needs to get a leg up on Google in the online search and advertising space in the first place.

The following is my understanding of the situation and I'd be interested in others' opinions:

Microsoft needs to trump Google in the same way Microsoft needed to trump Netscape. While Microsoft was not, and still is not, an Internet company, it recognized that Netscape had a strategy to build a platform that would allow applications to run on any client platform.

Microsoft is trying to gain market share in the on-line advertising space to satisfy Wall Street and to fend off Google. Being on the Wall Street treadmill, Microsoft has no choice but to seek out multi-billion dollar markets to conquer in order to satisfy Wall Street's expectations of growth. If Microsoft were to focus inward on existing product lines such as Windows, which has approximately 90% of the market for desktop operating systems, it would only be a matter of time before Ballmer and the board of directors are removed from their positions.

Trying to dominate on-line advertising is also a means of playing defense. I believe Google is working on a suite of applications that have an architecture similar to existed in the mainframe days where the applications are installed on a server and the clients are relatively dumb devices (web browsers) that don't have to run Windows. This greatly simplifies deployment and also has the benefit of ubiquity--the application and data are available anywhere you have a network connection. This architecture also lends itself well to companies looking to sell software as a service, which provides highly predictable revenue: something that Wall Street loves. Obviously, such a system could be a serious threat to Microsoft's Windows franchise.

Google is funding the above R&D through the profits of their advertising platform (I'm not aware of any other product at Google that is as substantially profitable). If Microsoft can cut off Google's air with a viable, competing advertising platform, the Google threat to Windows is effectively destroyed. This is exactly how Microsoft destroyed Netscape.

c1ue
05-07-08, 02:26 PM
I agree Microsoft doesn't need Yahoo.

But I don't agree that they can necessarily innovate out of this one - not that they've ever really 'innovated'.

My views on M* are well known, but it doesn't take much foresight to see how M*'s entire monopoly strategy based on tight corporate relationships with PC and PC component manufacturers, strong defense of 'IP', and monopolistic tactics against potential competitors - all tactics which worked well in the past - do not work well against a competitor every bit as large and without the need for hardware.

I don't think Google will end up 'doing no harm' either, already the MBA-bot creep is detectable, but an Internet based entity with the resources to buy and manage large server farms is exactly placed to break the desktop M* monopoly.

If I were M*, I'd focus instead on buying enough hi-speed providers/hi-speed fiber optic trunks to prevent the G* strategy from succeeding. Or a nice 'pay as you go' Internet access payment scheme.

Spartacus
05-07-08, 06:09 PM
If I were MS, I'd concentrate on throwing chairs.

BWAHAHAHAHHAHAH !!!!!!!!!!!

http://battellemedia.com/archives/001835.php

Allegedly, Ballmer does not let his kids use Google or Apple products (only Zunes in the Mr. B household).


I agree Microsoft doesn't need Yahoo.

But I don't agree that they can necessarily innovate out of this one - not that they've ever really 'innovated'.

My views on M* are well known, but it doesn't take much foresight to see how M*'s entire monopoly strategy based on tight corporate relationships with PC and PC component manufacturers, strong defense of 'IP', and monopolistic tactics against potential competitors - all tactics which worked well in the past - do not work well against a competitor every bit as large and without the need for hardware.

I don't think Google will end up 'doing no harm' either, already the MBA-bot creep is detectable, but an Internet based entity with the resources to buy and manage large server farms is exactly placed to break the desktop M* monopoly.

If I were M*, I'd focus instead on buying enough hi-speed providers/hi-speed fiber optic trunks to prevent the G* strategy from succeeding. Or a nice 'pay as you go' Internet access payment scheme.

Spartacus
05-07-08, 06:17 PM
The thing that has to keep Ballmer awake at night is that somewhere in India or Poland 2 guys in a garage are creating the next big thing, and the easiest tool for them to use, and the one that make the most business sense, is Linux.

IMHO that's the primary reason for the current MS push on patents. Even though patents have hurt MS a lot more than helped MS to date (what with MS having lost several patent cases and not having won one) MS can't see that patents will hurt MS in the long run. All MS can see is that maybe in the short term patents will help MS against Linux.

I honestly thought that all the motherboard manufacturers would dump the BIOS and go for this years ago - it makes total financial sense for them
http://www.coreboot.org/Welcome_to_coreboot

In one fell swoop, every new computer in the world would come with Linux installed. It's an idea for example that several areas of law have adopted - publish standard contracts, and use them where ever it makes the tiniest bit of sense. No one has to expend legal expenses to create new contracts every time.

From what we can tell, (for example from the recent doings with eePC and the OLPC XO) MS has been applying pressure to prevent this from happening, but how will MS pressure those 2 guys that don't depend on MS, instead of big established companies that do depend on MS?

I honestly expected MS to buy Wind River (the largest embedded operating system vendor) to compete with Linux- winCE just does not cut it.


Microsoft needs Yahoo. Or so says the punditry. Microsoft needs Yahoo in order to get a leg up on Google in the online search and advertising space. But they never tell us why Microsoft needs to get a leg up on Google in the online search and advertising space in the first place.

If Google is perceived as far more competent on networking than MS all networking related business will gravitate to Google, unless there are large payoffs, secret or public, involved. Just like several countries were on the verge of using non MS products until various large amounts of money were dispensed to the "right" people.

Same with beowulf style computing and server farm know-how, if Google decides to market that knowledge instead of keeping it in-house.

GRG55
05-08-08, 12:06 PM
...Allegedly, Ballmer does not let his kids use Google or Apple products (only Zunes in the Mr. B household).

This is the same behaviour exhibited by the Big Three US auto companies at their peak. Every executive had a company car or two from their employer (after all, who could make a better car than their own firm, so why drive anything else), and the objective was to keep your customer loyal to the brand and move them up the food chain as they grew older and wealthier (Chevy/Olds/Buick/Cadillac or Ford/Mercury/Lincoln, etc.)

That was fine until the Japanese started encroaching on their markets. People sometimes forget that Nissan and Toyota were making significant inroads in North American markets in the early 1970's; before the 1973 oil embargo shot the price of gasoline upward. From 1970 four consequtive "C" Production SCCA championships were won by John Morton and Bob Sharp driving the Datsun 240Z which gave Nissan a huge marketing boost on both coasts.

Anybody remember GM's answers to the Japanese? First the Vega and then the J-car? No wonder they moved into flogging home mortgages... :p

c1ue
05-08-08, 03:58 PM
Spartacus,

Innovation is great and all, but the issue at hand is having a business productivity suite such as Office.

Outside of the gamers, I'd bet money that the vast majority of people just use email, spreadsheets, and word processing - though there are larger numbers now monkeying around with pics and video.

To have a large number of dissimilar products that can intercommunicate is a non-trivial task. Even today I am thoroughly annoyed by the dissimilar basic fonts across multiple M* software.

M* is correct in this assertion, but is incorrect in saying only they as a monopoly can manage this.

In the physical engineering side, there are such things as standards committees. While the occassional Rambus or Qualcomm will sneak in, nonetheless by and large the standards committees are able to format the common interchanges.

There is no reason something similar cannot occur in software. Whatever your function, there is zero reason why one or more standards cannot exist for passing data from one program to another.

Where G* is absolutely no different than M* is the desire to offer something without allowing anyone else to touch it. While perhaps the G* office suite will be cheaper (at least in the beginning), ultimately outsiders will no more be able to add or supplant from it any more than M*'s Office suite now.

In this sense I don't see any ultimate difference between the two; it is one franchise using its monopoly power and better position to slowly squeeze the life out of the other.

Spartacus
05-08-08, 06:06 PM
This thread ties in neatly with the "bad projections by MSM economists:"

Halberstam's book about the big 3 starts with an oil economist tellig the big 3 that oil prices were about to rise.

He was ignored because their internal economists disagreed - the internals agreed with the US Gov, Wall St and oil company economists.

The rest is history ...


This is the same behaviour exhibited by the Big Three US auto companies at their peak. Every executive had a company car or two from their employer (after all, who could make a better car than their own firm, so why drive anything else), and the objective was to keep your customer loyal to the brand and move them up the food chain as they grew older and wealthier (Chevy/Olds/Buick/Cadillac or Ford/Mercury/Lincoln, etc.)

That was fine until the Japanese started encroaching on their markets. People sometimes forget that Nissan and Toyota were making significant inroads in North American markets in the early 1970's; before the 1973 oil embargo shot the price of gasoline upward. From 1970 four consequtive "C" Production SCCA championships were won by John Morton and Bob Sharp driving the Datsun 240Z which gave Nissan a huge marketing boost on both coasts.

Anybody remember GM's answers to the Japanese? First the Vega and then the J-car? No wonder they moved into flogging home mortgages... :p

Oh, man don't tell me about Datsuns.

those things used to last ONE, count it, ONE Toronto winter before the salt ate the floorboards. Toyotas, on the other hand ... I saw a late 70s Civic (the motorcycle with a body attached) last month that had been in constant use in Toronto.

GRG55
05-08-08, 11:31 PM
This thread ties in neatly with the "bad projections by MSM economists:"

Halberstam's book about the big 3 starts with an oil economist tellig the big 3 that oil prices were about to rise.

He was ignored because their internal economists disagreed - the internals agreed with the US Gov, Wall St and oil company economists.

The rest is history ...



Oh, man don't tell me about Datsuns.

those things used to last ONE, count it, ONE Toronto winter before the salt ate the floorboards. Toyotas, on the other hand ... I saw a late 70s Civic (the motorcycle with a body attached) last month that had been in constant use in Toronto.

As I recall the average Vega couldn't make it through one Vancouver winter... :D And nobody that I knew (or their Dad) would be caught dead with an Oldsmobile Firenza or a Pontiac 2000 in their driveway (could you imagine trading in your 442 or GTO for one of those?). The J-car was so anaemic that Roger Smith became famous, years before Michael Moore discovered him, for his comment after driving a J-car for the first time..."I love the feel of economy".

Ballmer and Smith strike me as having just a few too many similarities; maybe that won't be too healthy for Microsoft...

metalman
05-08-08, 11:37 PM
As I recall the average Vega couldn't make it through one Vancouver winter... :D And nobody that I knew (or their Dad) would be caught dead with an Oldsmobile Firenza or a Pontiac 2000 in their driveway (could you imagine trading in your 442 or GTO for one of those?). The J-car was so anaemic that Roger Smith became famous, years before Michael Moore discovered him, for his comment after driving a J-car for the first time..."I love the feel of economy".

Ballmer and Smith strike me as having just a few too many similarities; maybe that won't be too healthy for Microsoft...

lost my virginity in a green vega... will always love that shitty car. my best friend then drove a pacer. remember that thing? it never ran right or stopped well or turned... a miserable crappy vehicle... but refused not die. we beat it to death one night in a drunken rage... put it out of its misery.

GRG55
05-08-08, 11:59 PM
lost my virginity in a green vega... will always love that shitty car. my best friend then drove a pacer. remember that thing? it never ran right or stopped well or turned... a miserable crappy vehicle... but refused not die. we beat it to death one night in a drunken rage... put it out of its misery.

Ah yes, the goldfish bowl on wheels...

My apologies to Finster for turning this into another memory-lane thread on crappy shitboxes. We already have one of those somewhere else around here.

But then again, your description of the Pacer is pretty well how I would describe Microsoft's op system software.

Finster
05-15-08, 11:16 AM
Aaaah ha ha ha ha ... aaaah ha ha ha!!! :eek: :p :rolleyes: :D


http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=ajN8lYo9BRJA

Icahn Threatens Yahoo Board Fight After Failed Bid

(Update2)

By Crayton Harrison

May 15 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire investor Carl Icahn threatened to seek control of Yahoo! Inc.'s board if the Internet company doesn't revive takeover talks with Microsoft Corp. over its failed $47.5 billion bid...


Microsoft may not "need" Yahoo, but Yahoo does need Microsoft! Yahoo is redundant on its own. Google has seen to that. And the Yahoo poobahs who held their breath and turned blue insisting that the "real" value of their shares was way more than either the market or Microsoft judged are getting a little comeuppance from Mr. Icahn.

Sorry guys. You made two big mistakes. First, you named the company Yahoo! That might have sounded fun during the silly season, but how did you really expect to be taken seriously as an ongoing business concern?

Second, you forgot that when you sell your company to the public, you give up absolute control. You got your zillion-dollar payday, and then act as if you didn't have to give up anything to get it. You can't have it both ways. You have to choose between the big IPO bonanza with the stock option gravy train and total control of the company. Now your investors decide.

Nervous Drake
05-15-08, 10:58 PM
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Finster
05-16-08, 11:58 AM
It doesn't seem fair to me that a single man can just come in and say "Oh hey guys you're not doing what Microsoft wants so I'm going to buy a majority of your company and give Microsoft what they want."

Not sure Yahoo! could even make it without going public, so they had to do it. But it seems to me that their board actually thinks about things besides money. Unless you look at it from the perspective that they just wanted more, but I'd like to think it's because Microsoft wants them and they don't want Microsoft to have them, and that's it.

On the other hand, who is the "your" in "your company"? Seems to me that when Yahoo insiders sold to the public (and raked in zillions), that "your" became no longer theirs, but the shareholders.

Many thousands of those new owners were denied a vote on the matter by a few of those insiders. This "single man" has merely taken the lead in insisting they be given a voice.

Nervous Drake
05-16-08, 08:39 PM
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