Just last week, ZDNet editor-in-chief Larry Dignan floated the question, "Should Dell buy Palm?"
Now, Slate's Farhad Manjoo says it's Microsoft who should pull the trigger, Yahoo be damned.
In his post, Larry wrote that Palm would be perfect for Dell: Dell has the finances and distribution that Palm needs to bring its innovation to more pockets.
But in Manjoo's post, the author questions possible renewed talks between Microsoft and the Carol Bartz-led Yahoo, suggesting instead Palm as a suitor:
What's most puzzling about the possibility of renewed merger talks is that in betting on Yahoo, Microsoft would be jumping deeper into a volatile business that is outside its area of expertise. Microsoft really has no business being in the business of advertising. It is a software company, and software remains an astonishingly lucrative market. So why does it want to sell ads?
Instead, I've got a better idea for Ballmer: Abandon the Internet ad business and focus on your main market, developing and selling software. I've even got a great way to jump-start that strategy: Buy Palm!
Why? Well, it has a lot to do with Ballmer's CES keynote in which he mentioned convergence: the PC isn't the only smart device on the block anymore, people are willing to pay for software and services for these other devices, and most importantly, people need a way to keep it all running together.
Manjoo faults Microsoft's poor adaptability to SaaS and cloud-type services, as well as a general lack of attention toward portability (Windows Mobile, ahem), all of which hurts its chances in the current wave of technological advancement.
So, then, buying Yahoo wouldn't really help Microsoft 2.0, would it? Nor would it help in keeping its coffers plentiful during a recession, either. Answer: Buy Palm on the cheap! $1 or $2 billion, Manjoo says, and Microsoft won't need to lament, "I coulda been a contendah."
What do you think? A sound strategy or is Manjoo cuckoo? Tell me in TalkBack.