Microsoft is pursuing Yahoo. Does anyone really know why?
Perhaps it's to "steal the company," as Yahoo's board claims. Of course, a lovely Yahoo dating site would surely work wonders for Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server. Perhaps the acquisition is about adding coolness to those stodgy, decidedly unsexy, Microsoft products. You know the ones: Office, Windows, the things no one cares about anymore. Well, they generate huge revenue, but WTF. Maybe Microsoft sees Yahoo as its savior in the eternal search war against Google? Doubtful, because Yahoo hasn't whipped Google's ass in search for a long time.
No, this takeover is all about Microsoft and its long-lost mojo. It's quite simple: Microsoft has become tired and is grasping at straws. Bill Gates is gone, the booming stock days are over, and the company is a house divided. It can't decide whether it's a hot Internet services business or an old-line enterprise software company.
My advice to Microsoft: forget Yahoo and break your company up along consumer, enterprise, and Internet lines.
Infrastructure tools, business applications, and operating systems would go into the "I'm boring but rich" division. Internet services would go into the "I love to spend and wanna be cool" group. Games, consumer applications, and hardware (like mice) would be sold everywhere ordinary consumers flock and congregate.
People working in the enterprise business will get corner offices. Those working in the Internet division will get sunglasses, drinks with little umbrellas, and Twitter accounts. The games crowd would get big headphones, so they can be comfy in their own world.
The new enterprise business won't need Yahoo, because they're already selling to the largest companies on the planet; that's why they get the corner offices. Can you think of any reason why the games group would need Yahoo? Neither can I.
All of which brings us to the new consumer Internet group. It suffers at the hands of Google and is boring. Sounds like Yahoo, doesn't it? Well, maybe Yahoo will want to buy them after the post-split dust settles.