(This is a snapshot of my old weblog. New posts and selected republished essays can be found at raganwald.com.)

Monday, February 04, 2008
  Drama in the North Atlantic

It’s like tying the Titanic to the iceberg. It’d keep you from sinking just long enough to freeze to death.
—Andy Baio’s take on Microsoft buying the sinking Yahoo

Via Daring Fireball, which serves up a cogent analysis. The prognostication: Microsoft will either sell or shutter Yahoo’s products and migrate customers onto Microsoft’s products like Hotmail.

and another…

The Borg-Yahoo merger won't work. Here’s why. It’s like taking the two guys who finished second and third in a 100-yard dash and tying their legs together and asking for a rematch, believing that now they’ll run faster.

Here’s the weird thing: I first heard that line about the 100-yard dash from Ballmer himself, maybe a decade ago.
—Fake Steve Jobs on why Steve Ballmer is out of ideas

Comments on “Drama in the North Atlantic:
Would we hear the same types of comments if it were Google - Yahoo? I am not saying this (potential) merger is going to go smoothly, but it just seems there is a lot of mental baggage associated with anything Microsoft does.
Would we hear the same types of comments if it were Google - Yahoo?

I hope so. Yahoo is a floundering company and has been for quite some time. Anybody buying it is going to have to explain why they think they should pay a premium over today's stock price when if we wait three months the price will be even lower.

Having watched Time-AOL and HP-Compaq, anybody buying Yahoo should not get a free pass on the "Synergies" lame explanation for how it will make money.

I would absolutely have questions about anybody—including personal favourite companies like Google or Apple—buying a festering sore like Yahoo.
I totally agree. I, too wonder why they are paying so much for the stock. What value do they think they are getting for that kind of money?

Of course, I thought the same about the YouTube purchase by Google. I haven't seen anything come out of that yet either (although there has been some rumbling about "contextual advertising" by various parties).
What value do they think they are getting for that kind of money?

Users and page views.

They almost certainly aren’t paying for technology, since they will rewrite everything they don’t throw away (Don’t ask me why, since the HotMail rewrite and the Vista rewrite should establish that Microsoft’s core competence is relabeling things they buy, not shipping software).

And not talent, Yahoo employees come in three types: those that are in demand and leave for greener pastures, those that are killed in the stampede to the exits, and those that stay to work for Microsoft because nobody else wants them.

Ok, perhaps a few people stay because they buy into an elaborate fantasy that for the first time in business history, the purpose of the buy-out is to give them an opportunity to pursue their real dreams with the resources of the buying company behind them, yada yada yada.

But right now, if I could invest in anything, it would be Silicon Valley Head-Hunter stock. These people suddenly have a lot of inventory.

p.s. I wonder how it will feel in Redmond when people get pulled off of their projects to work on integrating this giant mess? As one person put it, all ski vacations are canceled for the next 24 months. That has to feel good!
This merger reminds me of an accident I witnessed in my rear-view mirror while driving to work one morning. It's like watching 1985 crash into 1995 while you're trying to figure out where Apple and Google are going. Or maybe I'm being overly harsh. Flickr is the only Yahoo or Microsoft app/service I use, so I really hope they don't break it. Assuming the merger even happens.
No, you misunderstand it completely. Microsoft is making a daring bid to replace Computer Associates in the growing field of places where technology goes to die.
No, you misunderstand it completely. Microsoft is making a daring bid to replace Computer Associates in the growing field of places where technology goes to die.
Use map!

(Blogger rejected the html [pre] and [code]. Big mistake. Here's a little test method:

class Array
def dumpit
0.upto(self.size - 1){|y| print "%5d" % self[y]
print "\n" if 9 == (y%10)
print "\n"
print "Doubling the even subscripts, the odd numbers. Before:\n"
a = (1..100).to_a
First = a.object_id

print "After:\n"
a.map!{|n| (0 == (n%2)) ? n : 2 * n}
Second = a.object_id
if (First != Second)
print "A different object!! #{First} != #{Second}\n"
Um, blogger put my previous response on the wrong post...

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Reg Braithwaite

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