Yahoo

Microsoft's $45 billion bid for Yahoo

Microsoft has announced just now that they are making a $45 billion bid to acquire Yahoo.

This is directly from the Microsoft press release:

Microsoft Proposes Acquisition of Yahoo! for $31 per Share
Transaction

valued at approximately $44.6 billion in cash and stock; provides 62 percent
premium to current trading price for Yahoo! shareholders; combined entity to
create a more competitive company, providing superior value to shareholders,
better choice and innovation for customers and partners

“We have great respect for Yahoo!, and together we can offer an increasingly exciting set of solutions for consumers, publishers and advertisers while becoming better positioned to compete in the online services market,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “We believe our combination will deliver superior value to our respective shareholders and better choice and innovation to our customers and industry partners.”

“Our lives, our businesses, and even our society have been progressively transformed by the Web, and Yahoo! has played a pioneering role by building compelling, high-scale services and infrastructure,” said Ray Ozzie, chief software architect at Microsoft. “The combination of these two great teams would enable us to jointly deliver a broad range of new experiences to our customers that neither of us would have achieved on our own.”

The Microsoft board of directors sent this offer to the Yahoo board of directors and the letter accompanying the offer is part of the Microsoft press release, too.

If this goes through, it would indeed be a curious transformation of the web. There are two "major" web sites that I rarely ever visit: www.yahoo.com and www.msn.com - imagine how appealing a combination of them would be...

For more blog reactions go to TechMeme.

Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo - interesting synchronicity

I could not help, but notice an interesting synchronicity between the various announcements and news clips about these three firms in the last 2-3 weeks or so:


Sep 9, 2007Microsoft fails to win ISO approval for OOXML. A review of detailed country comments does, however, show that they are likely going to succeed in the next round in March 2008.
Sep 16, 2007Yahoo launches Mash - a new social networking site designed to compete with Facebook.
Sep 17, 2007Google adds slide-show/presentation application to Google Documents in an effort to increase competition with Microsoft Office.
Sep 24, 2007The The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft is in talks with Facebook to acquire a 5% stake in the social networking site.
Sep 27, 2007Microsoft announced an updated Search capability in the Live Search engine. Incidentally it is also Google's 9th birthday.
Sep 30, 2007Microsoft unveils its answer to Google Docs called Office Live Workspaces.
Oct 1, 2007Yahoo announced a new Search Assist function to improve Yahoo Search.
Oct 2, 2007Steve Ballmer speaks in Europe and says that the craze for individual social networks such as Facebook risks being exposed as a "fad". UPDATE: Robert Scoble responds that Steve Ballmer doesn't "get" social networking.

Office, Social Networking, Search, Office, Social Networking, Search, ... — is it just me, or is there some kind of pattern here?

And it all seems to revolve around online advertising platforms. Hmmmm.

Yahoo Mail Beta spamming all my contacts?!?!

While trying out the Yahoo Mail Beta (in combination with the new Yahoo Mash Beta), I imported my address book from GMail into Yahoo Mail today - and was HORRIFIED when Yahoo proclaimed that it was now going to spam all my contacts and tell them about my "new" Yahoo e-mail address.

What on earth do they think they are doing? The system never asked me for permission to notify my contacts!!! And why would it do such a thing in the first place, when all I wanted to do was import my address book?!

If you got a message from Yahoo today that asks you to update your address book because I switched e-mail addresses from gmail.com to yahoo.com - please accept my sincerest apologies and ignore that message!

Mash: Yahoo's new social networking site

Yahoo has launched Mash as a beta version (by invitation only) this weekend. It's (yet another) social networkig site that appears to be aimed at unseating Facebook, and their biggest differentiator is a wiki-like approach where people can edit each other's profiles. More importantly, you can create a new profile for somebody else and then inite them to "claim" that profile and make it theirs.

Hmmmm, I'm not sure that I really like that idea. Friends writing on my wall in Facebook is one thing, but having them edit my profile?!

Most things on Mash seem to definitely still be very much in beta stage, e.g. when I tried to import my Gmail address book to see how many of my 1,500 contacts are also on Mash, I got the following error:

"We could not find contacts from Gmail for you to add."

I guess we'll have to see how this evolves before we can pass a verdict. In the meantime, if you want to take a look, here is my Mash profile page...