aQuantive may be Microsoft’s biggest acquisition failure. Have there been good ones? A look back.

Today’s news that Microsoft  is writing off $6.2 billion from the useless acquisition of aQuantive in August 2007 gives me pause for thought.

How bad is this company at acquisitions? Particularly those under CEO Steve Ballmer’s watch. He became CEO in January 2000.

Microsoft acquired Danger in February 2008 for $500M. Small relative to

…continue reading aQuantive may be Microsoft’s biggest acquisition failure. Have there been good ones? A look back.

After Microsoft deal, what next for Yahoo’s developer platform?

In May I attended a Yahoo Hack Day in London and wrote it up for the Reg. Although I found the business story unconvincing, I was impressed by the technology – things like BOSS, SearchMonkey, and especially YQL (Yahoo Query Language), which lets you treat the entire Internet as a structured database.

One thing all

…continue reading After Microsoft deal, what next for Yahoo’s developer platform?

Microsoft – Yahoo search deal: 2+2 makes 5, or 3?

Microsoft’s search deal with Yahoo makes more sense than the attempted full acquisition last year. The 10-year deal provides for Microsoft’s Bing to become the back-end search engine for Yahoo, while Yahoo becomes the exclusive sales force for premium search advertisers on both Bing and Yahoo.

Listening to today’s conference call, the rationale for the

…continue reading Microsoft – Yahoo search deal: 2+2 makes 5, or 3?

Bing’s disappearing search share gain in the US

Web stats site StatCounter caused some excitement last week when it announced that Bing had overtaken Yahoo in search market share, as tracked by its site analysis tools.

I took a look at the figures today, and they make depressing reading for Microsoft:

I’ve annotated the image to show Live Search share

…continue reading Bing’s disappearing search share gain in the US

Is Zend really the PHP company?

I’m at Yahoo! Hack day in London – not hacking, but here for sessions on topics such as YUI (Yahoo! User Interface Library) and PHP.

I had a brief chat with Rasmus Lerdorf who is speaking later. I asked him about Zend, which presents itself as the PHP company (that is actually the slogan on

…continue reading Is Zend really the PHP company?

Now it’s YahGoog

Yahoo has signed up for Adsense:

By offering Google’s industry-leading technology to Yahoo!, the whole system becomes more efficient, and everyone benefits.

This is efficient in the same way that having everyone run Windows is efficient. Hmmm.

Google observes that the deal is non-exclusive; Yahoo can still sell its own ads, etc etc. I

…continue reading Now it’s YahGoog

Microsoft: forget the Live Search Cashback, just improve the engine

Microsoft is paying users to use its search engine with a new search cashback scheme. Looks like an affiliate scheme where the commission is paid back to the customer. US only.

I think Microsoft should focus on improving its search engine. This morning, I needed to call a local electrician and figured that search would

…continue reading Microsoft: forget the Live Search Cashback, just improve the engine

Microsoft to Yahoo: Forget it, then

Microsoft is walking away. The right thing to do in my opinion.

Could Microsoft have bought Yahoo? Clearly, it could have done – for more money:

In our conversations this week, we conveyed our willingness to raise our offer to $33.00 per share, reflecting again our belief in this collective opportunity. This increase would have

…continue reading Microsoft to Yahoo: Forget it, then

Steve Ballmer: post Yahoo, we will be a PHP shop

Steve Ballmer took a few questions yesterday at Mix08 in Las Vegas, and I asked him what Microsoft would do with all Yahoo’s PHP applications if its takeover bid succeeds, especially where they duplicate home-grown applications that are running on ASP.NET.  PHP is deeply embedded into Yahoo’s culture, and Rasmus Lerdorf, who invented PHP, works

…continue reading Steve Ballmer: post Yahoo, we will be a PHP shop