Do you Yahoo? Statistically the answer is probably no, you don’t, but in a world of decreased market penetration for every search engine (other than the Ubersearcher Google) the megalith companies like Microsoft -who’s MSN (I won’t even ask ‘do you MSN’) is even lower on the scale – are looking for ways to corner a portion of the Internet search engine market, initially they thought that the success of Internet explorer over Netscape navigator was a big deal, in hindsight it wasn’t, ask people the difference between Mozilla and IE7 and expect a blank stare, except from the closet online gamers whom I seem to be meeting more and more recently.
Google came from nowhere and used a simple approach, they have an interface that could only have been dreamt up by Mac or …well…. Google, and it was a huge success. I lived in Chicago the first time I heard of Google, it was around the year 1999 or 2000 and I recall there was another search engine called ‘snap’ or something that also impressed me, anyways, these years later Google is a monolith, I have no idea what happened to Snapfind or whatever it was called, and Google are (perhaps) becoming more like Microsoft than they had hoped for when they coined their corporate slogan ‘Don’t do Evil’.
This won’t stop Microsoft from trying to stay in the game by offering $45 billion (thats $45,000,000,000.00 – the long version is alwasy so much more impressive!) to procure Yahoo! who are so far down the chain that it really represents a desperate approach to consolidate all the losers in an effort to dethrone the champion. I suspect that if they succeed Yahoo! will be called MSYahoo! or some other ridiculous moniker, for instance we used to have NBC, good channel, then Microsoft bought it and it became MSNbc…. anyways, I deviate, the point is that the heat is on. Microsoft made an approach last year offering $43 per share, the most recent offer represents value of about $30 per share, granted its well shy of last years offer but its also about a 60+% gain on the current share price.
My earnest thoughts? Google are becoming kind of unpopular in the Internet community the same way Microsoft originally did, perhaps there is a third company out there who can provide honest, clear search and in a way that makes sense, lets be honest, Google don’t publish any of the rationale behind their search algorithm so I don’t, and never will understand why when I type ‘mortgages’ into Google that MoneyWeb and Fool.co.uk are the first two showing up, are they the most relevant? I don’t think they are but I didn’t write the rule book, where is my knight in shining armour? We need a new search engine, one that is government backed and that will never sell advertising, one with intelligent rules and stringent adherence to them.
This news actually caused Wall St. to finish up on a high note, thats how huge a deal it represents, I just can’t say that it means things will all end up ‘happily ever after’.