Aug 09

Microsoft & Yahoo: A bigger Also-Ran

30soft1.600There seems to be an even split of opinions on whether the Microsoft/ Yahoo agreement is a good thing or a non-thing. I put my vote firmly on the non side. Two reasons. The first is that guy on the right in this photo. He’s a windbag. I believe that when the history of his company is written, Ballmer will be known as the guy who captained the ship to exciting new depths. I honestly can’t understand why the shareholders have been so patient. The second reason is simple common sense.

People flock to innovative companies with products that raise the bar by an order of magnitude. They don’t jump ship from something they are actively loving unless the thing they love becomes less lovable — which Google shows no signs of doing. Can we be sure Google won’t somehow screw up one day and let MicroHoo in the door? Of course not. But if you look at what Google is and what they’re doing, that doesn’t seem to be a likely scenario. These guys are excruciatingly smart, open to new ideas, eager to invent and evolve. All things that Microsoft is having a tough time doing. So as a combined force, the new search powerhouse will own 28% of the market while Google cruises along with a seemingly impregnable 65%. If I were looking at those odds and comparing the two horses prepping for the race, I know where I’d put my money.

Remember, people love to be on the side of a winner, as long as the winner makes them feel happy. Google, like Apple, makes people really, really happy. They continue to attract the brainiest, most creative thinkers, they continue to devote themselves to innovation. They truly understand what we want. So they are about as likely to lose a significant share of market to MicroHoo as iPod is to lose more than 12 customers to Zune.

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  • Liebman

    You have to admit that the heightened competition will be good for users. Sure, Google is innovative, but even genius giants get lazy sometimes.

  • Christian Barnett

    Has anyone ever told you, you write terribly well : )

  • Jane McLaughlin

    excruciatingly well.

  • Youngernaught

    Liebman – Agreed. It’s surprising that intelligent, self actualizing people fall so quickly and deeply for the fad company’s. It was Yahoo, MicroWho and Amazon – it’s now Apple and Google – who’s next and who are we going to “fall” for next? Competition is welcomed and healthy.