Microsoft and Yahoo: did anyone actually see it coming?

by Shane Perris on Wednesday, 6 February, 2008

in opinions

It’s interesting that for years there have been rumours that Microsoft and Yahoo were destined for some sort of arrangement, whether it be a formal partnership, merger or good ol’ fashioned buy out.  The first link goes back to 2006 and I vaguely recall rumours in 2005, but my Google-fu is letting me down at the moment and I can’t find evidence of this.  My point remains – this idea has been around a long time.

This time of year is flush with predictions for the 12 months ahead.

The Read/Write Web predictions included the rise of semantic apps, the acquisition of Digg, Twitter and Tumblr, the Facebook juggernaut rolling on and the first chinks in the Google armour. 

Mashable! predictions included increased acceptance of the mobile social, Facebook going mainstream (if my 60-something coworker asks me about Facebook because her sister-in-law sent her an invite, it’s already mainstream people) and blogs to become acquisition targets.

Update: as Adam Ostrow of Mashable kindly pointed out in the comments, the one important prediction I missed in his 2008 predictions was indeed Microsoft buying Yahoo. I’m an idiot (Adam kindly didn’t point out that fact, so in the interests of full disclosure I’m doing that for him).

There were predictions of Windows XP living on and increases in state-sponsored cyber warfare, “personality matters“, the year of “micro” (blogging, groups, online video)  and enterprise adoption of web 2.0 (I’d link to the original Forrester report but I don’t have that kind of cash just lying around – especially not for an 8 page publication!).  In amongst all these minds that are far more perceptive than mine, I don’t recall once seeing mention of the Microsoft-Yahoo even being a possibility.

It is amazing that despite all the past rumours (or perhaps because of them), it is as if everyone thought the idea would never actually go ahead.  After so many false starts, each rumour would be treated as the merger and acquisition world equivalent of an Apple Tablet.

If anyone can point me towards someone who did predict that this year, Microsoft would try to buy out Yahoo, please let me know.  I would dearly love to subscribe to that person’s feed.

 

Graphic credit: “Microhoo” by Joe Manna.  Used under a Creative Commons licence.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Adam Ostrow February 6, 2008 at 12:28

Re-read my Mashable predictions. I actually did predict it ;-)

2 shane February 6, 2008 at 13:28

Would you believe I have read those predictions four times since they went live in late December? Four times! Each time, I somehow magically skipped over that one paragraph. Amazing. I’m an idiot.

It was a great article, Adam, and it just stepped up another notch now that you’ve nudged me to read it again.

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