Although it is not the complete takeover of Yahoo!, that will only be a matter of time. “Bing” now becomes the official search engine of Yahoo, and Yahoo is supposed to do all the sales stuff. We will see how long THAT lasts. How long before Yahoo guys realize that Microsoft’s ads on Bing are geared to sell Microsoft NOT Yahoo?. And the Yahoo sales guys are now forced to use Microsoft’s AdCenter to do their jobs?
The biggest question no one is asking is what if this doesn’t work out? Yahoo doesn’t have a choice. It’s not as if in 5 years they can say Sorry and choose another search provider. They gave ALL of their search algorithms/technology to Microsoft in this deal. Yahoo is now married to Microsoft for life without possibility of divorce. All Microsoft has to do is to ditch the Yahoo sales force and switch back to their own, and Yahoo ceases to exist. For those who follow “Star Trek – Next generation”, they have now become “assimilated” with the Borg collective. As much as I hate to say it, I think in a decade Yahoo will be the next AOL and will die a slow death on the vine. The Microsoft poison is in their blood and there is nothing they can do about it. Carol Bartz was out there today gleefully hobnobbing with Ballmer. Trust me, Ms. Bartz, you will one day look back on this day with regret. Then again Carol unlike Yang is an outsider. She is not a coder that built a company from scratch. Just a CEO that worries about shareholder value, so I’m sure she will sleep well at night. And if that means someday Yahoo ceases to exist, so be it.
Make a deal with the Devil and he will get his due. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish … It’s the Microsoft way.