Open letter to Microsoft: Buy Yahoo

To: Ray Ozzie Dear Mr. Ozzie, chief software architect, Mr.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

To: Ray Ozzie

Dear Mr. Ozzie, chief software architect, Mr. Web 2.0 and consensus pick as the future of Microsoft. Fix search now.

As Mary Jo Foley reports:

On the heels of the retirement of Blake Irving, the former Vice President in charge of the Windows Live Platforms group, more reorg changes affecting Microsoft's Windows Live unit are in the works. According to sources close to the company, Christopher Payne, the Corporate VP in charge of Windows Live Search, is leaving the Live unit. It's not clear whether Payne is moving to another group or leaving Microsoft all together. Payne's departure, like Irving's, is slated to be announced this week, possibly on March 7, sources said. 

As an outside observer, this can't be good. At best, you hold your own in search. At worst, your share is declining.

Your fearless leader Steve Ballmer has called search critical to the company's future. Your job? Fix it. Cook up some new search technique to close the gap with Google.

No pressure, but the clock is ticking. You're like a race car that's out of gas and being lapped by a rival.

So what do you do? Buy Yahoo. I know you've heard this before but Yahoo could help you out big time. It seems so blatantly obvious. Consider:

  • You need a better ad platform and Panama is working well;
  • You need to work the Web media thing a little better;
  • You need some way to close the search market share gap (unless you want to fall behind Ask too);
  • You need to hide your Internet's unit's weak financial results.

And after you buy Yahoo here's another move. Leave them alone and let them run this search thing. Give Yahoo MSN so you can get off of this distracting search kick. Then you Mr. Software Architect guy can do what you do best--dream up new software models and applications for customers to play with.  

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