OK. We get it. Microsoft wants a search deal with Yahoo.

OK. We get it. Microsoft wants a search deal with Yahoo.

Summary: Is it just me or does it feel like Microsoft is starting to sound - quite frankly - a bit desperate for a search deal with Yahoo?The Times (UK) today blasted out the headline: Microsoft reopens door to deal with Yahoo!


Is it just me or does it feel like Microsoft is starting to sound - quite frankly - a bit desperate for a search deal with Yahoo?

The Times (UK) today blasted out the headline: Microsoft reopens door to deal with Yahoo!, citing an interview with Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner. But we already knew that Microsoft wanted a Yahoo deal. CEO Steve Ballmer said so in January, shortly after new Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz came on board, and then again last month. Shortly after that, Microsoft CFO Chris Liddell said that a search deal would be an "incredibly useful step" but was quick to note that a deal with Yahoo is not a panacea.

Are there any other Microsoft executives that need to say it? Actually, in all fairness, I realize this isn't a case of Microsoft execs calling press conferences every month to say that they're still interested in Yahoo. The media asks the question and then builds a headline around the answer.

Bartz, who has also been peppered with questions about a deal with Microsoft, has finally suggested that everyone just chill out and wait. In comments at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference, Bartz said:

I said this to Mr. Ballmer, I will not negotiate with you and 30,000 of my closest friends. I will negotiate privately. If something happens, you will know about it then.

Bartz seems to have the upper-hand here. She's still sorting through the mess at Yahoo. She's still re-organizing management. She's still evaluating the properties and priorities within the site. She knows Microsoft wants a deal - but, clearly, she's not yet ready to talk publicly about any deal with Microsoft.

At the Goldman Sachs Technology Conference last month, CFO Blake Jorgensen (who announced his resignation the next day) said that the company “is not opposed to a deal that would maximize the value of the business, be it a partnership or sale in the long term” but was quick to point out that search is a complex business that connects - literally, on servers - with other elements of the business, such as Mail and Messenger. He said:

It’s difficult to draw a line down the middle of the organization and split it into two. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It could. But we’d want to do it right.

In the meantime, Microsoft is moving forward and has started internal testing of its new search product, codenamed Kumo.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Banking, Legal, Microsoft, Social Enterprise

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • censorship

    Well whatever happens let's hope that Google, Yahoo, Kumo, et. al.,stop the fbi/cia interference with the free and honest flow of data.Google presumes to be the world leader in search; for now it is in fact. Yahoo and MSFT must eventually strike a deal just to play in the same market competitively. However, if the fbi/cia/nsa, etc. continue the present practice of control over certain aspects of search data
    (such as stifling fee speech & manipulation of content and numbers as I and others have documented), then the world will seek a new source for search that is more consistent with the nature and quality of IT; this means free flow of data for the benefit of Mankind, not just to serve the intel interests of the thugs and assassins of fbi/cia.QUESTIONS! Truly Yours
    geral sosbee (956) 371-5210
  • The only desperation here is from the media!

    ROFL...it never ceases to amaze me when the media who are the desperate ones for news stories simply try to create them.

    The media is hounding both Yahoo! and Microsoft for any scrap of news relating to a 'possible' search deal but both Microsoft and Yahoo! would prefer to keep quietly discussing it yet the media and bloggers then have the gall to turn around and say that Microsoft is desperate because - guess what - another media outlet has printed yet another story about it?

    Larry, you guys are seriously scraping the bottom of the barrel for some of your news lately.
    • Come on, the Microsoft search thing is a big deal, and there are ongoing

      discussions. He is right to report about this. But, Bartz will want to keep this private and out of the media and minimize the distraction. Actually, Bartz should tell them to freak off, as it is just too much of a distraction, and makes it impossible to perform day-to-day operations.
      • Did you actually read what you wrote before posting it?

        Hang you say "he is right to report about this." but then in the next paragraph you say "Bartz should tell them to freak off."! YOu can;t have it both ways! ROFL
        • Yes, the posibility of a MS/Yahoo search deal IS big news, and YES, Bartz

          should tell Balmer to freak off. If MS offered enough, this could be VERY attractive to Yahoo, but, given the huge distraction it could be, and the time it would take to complete, Yahoo should just tell them to freak off. The last time around (when it was about buying the whole company), it created a very bad environment at Yahoo, and made it impossible to execute.

          • Due to the uncertainty not to the concept.

            Once certainty is established and people know where they stand, they won't have the feeling of a dark cloud over their heads. FUD is a great distraction. Clarity, most people can deal with.
    • Spot On!!! (nt)

  • RE: OK. We get it. Microsoft wants a search deal with Yahoo.

    Screw off Microsoft. We don't want you pushing even more of your crappy technology on us. We've got better alternatives.

    No, I don't want you to make Internet Explorer my default internet browser, yes I do want to open the program that I opened. No, I don't want to change my search bar from Google to your shitty Live Search. Stick to making the operating system, and quit trying to own everything. If you own everything, you're good at NOTHING.
    • It's spelt Gandalf.

      Sleeper Service