Everyone and his Aunt Fannie has now weighed in on the Microsoft-Yahoo deal.
But I'm wondering if they're all missing the point. Is it possible Microsoft has called on the wrong company?
We all know what this is about, web search. Buying Yahoo doesn't solve the problem. It's a poor number two to Google in search, and a turnaround is needed for it to become a challenger.
Rather than looking at this as a game of buying market share, perhaps Microsoft should examine what this really is -- a system integration challenge.
Google doesn't just win because of its search algorithms. Search for this story in Google News today, or a week from now, and you'll know that's true.
Google wins because it delivers instant answers for less than its rivals. Google wins because it has dark fiber, low-cost server farms, parallel processing, and mirrored databases.
These aren't just assets. They're systems it took years, and many breakthroughs, to develop.
Catching up with all that will be an enormous challenge. Overtaking it may be an even bigger challenge.
So rather than buying a company which has tried to do that and failed, why not consider buying the firm best-equipped to take on that challenge?
Why not buy a company with its own worldwide network, with a ton more open source mojo than Yahoo, and with many of the world's best programmers on-staff?
Or if you can't buy them, why not just hire them? Sign a master contract to share costs, share revenue, and go to market together?
Instead of spending $45 billion on Yahoo, wouldn't Microsoft be better served spending that money with IBM?
Think about it. Google is about to do to Microsoft what Microsoft did to IBM 20 years ago, take the future by controlling what underlies that future. Back then it was PC software. Today it's Internet search and Web ad service.
Since being overtaken IBM has remade itself. It's like a drunk who's been to AA, only what it kicked was power, not alcohol. IBM is now, on the whole, content to stay in the background, behind its customer, but it's very, very good at that.
You'll pay big for what IBM does, even if IBM uses open source, but you'll get what you want.
Microsoft has something it wants, a search system that can go toe-to-toe with Google's. It has shown it is ready to spend big to get it.
I don't think Yahoo is up to that challenge. But I think IBM might be.