Microsoft and Yahoo finally announce a deal that should have taken place 18 months ago and won’t be complete for another 24 months. Even then, it probably still won’t be a game changing move for any of the players. Today’s big news is the Microsoft/Yahoo deal that will finally give Microsoft access to a much larger audience for its new bing search engine and give Yahoo some breathing room to focus on what it does best (I’m not sure what that is, and personally, I found the announcement of Kodak’s 1080p, Image-Stabilized HD Pocket Camcorder just as interesting as this announcement). That said, this deal is still significant for a number of reasons:
- It isn’t costing Microsoft anything (consider that they were willing to pay $9B for the same type of deal just a year ago),
- Microsoft is hungry for bing-driven advertising dollars and user information, not to mention a way to improve their struggling image (let’s face it, Microsoft is not exactly a “loved” company outside of their employees), and
- Yahoo has been going exactly nowhere since adopting a strategy of confusing its audience with a “we can do anything you want, oh, and we also still have a search engine” approach.
- expand their search capabilities (both through internal development and potential acquisitions of firms like Topsy and Collecta that are pushing the state of social network and real-time searching),
- enhance their direct access to social media networks, and
- improve their inroads into Microsoft’s application domination through increased “open” and “cloud-based” software tools.