Call me an incurable romantic but I'm more inclined towards Damon's "larger failure" theory.
Look at it this way:
Both companies (M+Y) have their bots roaming our pages and indexing the world.
Both companies already have a good number of visitors and even some of them are loyal but for other reasons than search.
Yet they both seem to miss the boat when it comes to coding a search algo that actually works, which is the only thing Google has over them (and gives it the edge too in contextual advertising, how many Y! bad targeting threads are out there?), enough to give Google double the search market share than both M&Y combined!
Come on, give me a $100M budget and I'll kick Google's behind back and forth horizontal and vertical in the search business, add another $100M marketing and offices budget and I'll take over the advertising edge too!
The more I think of it, the more I see it as the mating of 2 Mammoths trying to breed a nimble tiger.
No, that's the point; what Google has over them is exactly that nimbleness, the genuine desire to innovate. We'll not argue at this point how successful they are - the point here is that they keep trying!
M$ has been dead for 15 years or more; and for ten years has tried to deaden everything around it. Yahoo has been 'mentally dead' for several years.
Google is very much alive, and still kicking.
Only one thing makes me suspect there may be a mind at work at M$ - After launching MSNsearch, relaunching as LIveSearch, M$ has visibly lost interest, much quicker than usual. Could this be that they saw a year ago that they'd win Yahoo!, and therefore further investment in LiveSearch was simply a waste of money?
"that's seeing a glass as 25% full, a full reverse conspiracy theory if you ask me!"
You don't mean ...
But a little more seriously:
"Not only do I think Microsoft is capable of building extraordinary search technology, I believe Microsoft is hell-bent on developing that technology in Redmond (Wash.) without a material acquisition, That is the Microsoft way." - (CNet, March 26, 2004)
"Sleeping giant Microsoft, meanwhile, was rumored to have made an unsuccessful stab at acquiring Google, and is now using its nearly infinite resources to improve it own search engine." - (Forbes, April 26, 2004)
It seems to me that if M$ cares enough about search (and the cash that goes with it), that it's inconceivable that they'd have just 'given up' on livesearch - even though most users had! That would suggest they were walking away from search ... which would make a bid for Yahoo! the second 180 u-turn in 12 months!
The M$ way has always been to keep throwing money at something until they win (see IE and word, to name two such victories)..
But I'm just speculating; I've always looked for the lighter side of M$
I don't know if anyone else saw this--apparently Yahoo is talking about trying to get Google to make a counter-offer or something. They may not be very serious--it could just be an attempt to drive up the price M$ would have to pay.
seems to me MS probably has a major stockholder in their corner in order for them to attempt going forward with this....Maybe someone not happy with Yahoo dragging their feet on this adserving beta program thingy.
I know I would want one in mine to insure a speedy transfer.
you might say a driving force.
Or maybe MS has had a few shills out buying up stock over the last couple of years.
50% of me says they just 'assumed' Yahoo! would jump at this great opportunity. As it is, Yahoo! resisted the temptation to say "NO, AND WHEN WE SAY NO WE MEAN NO" for several days ... such intelligent restraint suggests canny advice!
Yes, I agree--a dangerous game Yahoo's board is playing here.
If M$ pulls back, I think their stock will drop right away to below where it was before. They've been spinning their wheels recently. Not that M$ has done any better with their web stuff, but they've got money to throw around and Y! doesn't.