I believe Microsoft will buy Yahoo after prolonged dating. Both
companies are getting trounced by Google in search, but there's more to
the world then just search. Yahoo has enormously valuable net assets
which, when combined with Microsoft, will create a giant in several
areas. One example is IM (instant messaging). Many may be surprised to
learn that Microsoft's IM network is now more than twice as big as
anyone else and Yahoo has moved past Granddaddy AOL into second place.
If Microsoft and Yahoo combine their IM networks (which are already
interconnected) it would be multiple times bigger than anyone else.
Here's a snapshot of data looking at average simultaneous users and who
connects to who.
In the past I've written about how the instant messaging networks
nicely with each other so users can send and receive messages
any network to any other network - more like email. Slow progress has
been made in this direction. Most companies have allowed formal or
informal connections to their network. Microsoft and Yahoo connected
their networks. Google and AOL announced a partnership in 2006, but it
has yet to go live. Skype and MySpace have linked their networks.
Gizmo5 has recently connected with MySpace IM as well. This new
functionality supports presence, messaging and alerts which are
messages indicating changes to your MySpace page. The functionality is
available for both our desktop
and mobile phone
version. If you want to
stay connected to IM from your phone or PC, then Gizmo5 is the one
program you need.
In continuing on our mission to push the world to connect with others
we will be releasing our MySpace IM code for anyone else to use. It's a
competitive advantage to have full MySpace IM support in Gizmo5, but
it's equally important we push others to interconnect. After some
feedback from users and testing we will be releasing our Myspace IM
under a GPL license for others to incorporate into their system. It
will be published at www.Gizmo5.com/labs.
Which takes me back to Microsoft and Yahoo. Undoubtedly many will
protest their combined size and paint horror stories about unfair
competition of various internet services like IM. Given Microsoft's
track record as a twice convicted monopolist the scrutiny may be
warranted. However, I'd be happy with a public statement that they'll
keep their IM/VOIP network open to connections as it is now. The world
is becoming more open and those that embrace it win in the long run. On
the Internet, competitive pressures will police better than any court
legislative body. Bring on Microhoo.