Saturday, May 3, 2008

Microsoft Walks On By - Yahoo!

Well slap my ass and call me Judy! Microsoft is walking away from acquiring Yahoo!

Hot Damn and Yahoo!

(I have never, ever been so happy to trash a pending Mini-Microsoft post. Ah, yeah, it had a nice lemon analogy and everything but, well, forget it!)

While sanity did not prevail in making this crazy offer, sanity prevailed in not doing whatever it took to make the Yahoo! acquisition happen. Initial coverage:

(Pardon me while I crack open a bottle of Col Solare.)

With this strategic inflection point, the era of post-BillG Microsoft 2.0 has begun.

(Sip. Savor. Yum.)

The only not-so-good thing out of not blowing all of our cash at once is that we'll continue to live in an era of cash-cow abundance, preventing us from making profit-minded decisions. The lack of the money cushion would have, I presume, actually caused new projects to expect to bring in cash vs. becoming strategic money pits.

Out of this had best come a new reorganization of our online properties. Out with the old already. We had reached a bet-the-company point in going after Yahoo! to make up for the lack of performance out of MSN / Search / AdCenter in an attempt to leap-frog forward. I think we need to hang-up on the good-enough consensus culture for a while and put in a strategy czar to get things done vs. expecting something to arise out of the dysfunctional ecosystem we currently have.

And speaking of Microsoft 2.0: Ms. Mary Jo Foley's book is out now. Once you get past the foreword, it's a good read. I hope she comes to campus - well, Redmond probably - soon so that folks can have a discussion of the book and ponder the future in a face-to-face forum.

Soon, we can get back to the usual program of talking about the recent Town Hall and looping back to cover the recent comments about Microsoft India. For now, I'm going to ease back and enjoy this strange feeling I have: being happy regarding a wise decision our leadership finally came around to.

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