The web is on fire with news that Microsoft is interested in acquiring Yahoo! for some $44.6 billion. Whether this goes through or not remains to be seen, but I for one hope that if it does go through, Microsoft doesn't overload applications with Yahoo! related links and bloat the OS even further with unwanted stuff.
The word is already out there that Microsoft has already hinted that Windows 7 will integrate far more closely with online services that Vista does, and this will undoubtedly mean more links, more apps and more bloat. Ugh. Now add Yahoo! into the mix, and you've got more products and services that will be competing for user attention. Ugh.
Don't believe me that this could happen? Just take a look at what Windows Live Messenger has become. This app never had the clear lines and simple to use UI that I personally like, but as of late the Messenger interface has been transformed into a confusing hell-stew of annoying, migraine-inducing ads and links to a multitude of online services (free and paid), most of which I don't care to know about (oh, and don't get me started on great ideas such as "nudges," "winks," and animated contact pictures). Usability has long been discarded in favor of cramming the app with as many ads and links as possible. Now add the possibility of Windows Live Flickr and Windows Live del.icio.us into the mix.
I might as well poke my eyes out with a Phillips screwdriver now. I think we're going to need utilities such as vLite and Mess Patch more and more in the future.