February 1, 2008

Spending Money in the Wrong Place

I'm not an economist and I am probably not the best source for how a company worth billions should spend their money. But I think Microsoft is about to spend money in the wrong place. Microsoft submitted an unsolicited offer today of $44.6 billion to buy Yahoo (read about it at Bloomberg.com). This is historic either way as it represents the largest technology take over in history, but I think it may be historic as another bad decision my the new Microsoft. I can't help but think they are competing with Google in the wrong way.

Google did not win the search engine war by buying other companies that were also loosing the war. They were innovative, created a product that was easier to use, and got a reputation as company you wanted to work for (still do). They did awesome things like pay people to advertise for them (AdSense) even when 98% of users never see $0.10. Microsoft's Vista and IE 7.0 "innovation" has created more Mac and Google fans out of former Microsoft fans (me included as I write this from my MacBook Pro using Firefox). At what point did Microsoft make it a business plan to bottom feed buy spending billions of dollars on inferior technology and companies?

This former Microsoft evangalist would like to see them either buy an innovative industry leader (think YouTube) or spend $44 billion dollars and a release a product that gets the kind of buzz and adoption the iPhone got.

At the most basic level they could attempt to copy a very easy thing that made Google easier to use. Look a the three pics below and tell me which you would rather use if you were trying to find something on the Internet.


gabriel ryan said...

like seth godin might say, this smells of "meatball sundae" to me.

Kevin Sturm said...

Gabriel you made my day! If I ever say anything that someone says Seth Godin might say my day is made.


Tim Halberg said...

seriously, KISS.... but I guess some tech companies just don't get it

Andy said...

for wold's bros' wife, I say FU ;)