Monday, March 10, 2008

Is Microsoft wrong for going after Yahoo?

I've been reading about Microsoft trying to buy Yahoo. But I've also read that they are not really interested in incorporating Yahoo's technologies. Basically it's almost 50 billion for potential advertising.

I think Microsoft would do better to just make better products. I don't think Yahoo's search engine is any better than Microsoft's, I think they both lag far behind Google with search engines. Microsoft has some great assets, they do some things really great. They have great office applications and really good Enterprise level backend systems. However, they lose out on a lot of the free or cheap market that other companies are using to take business away from them.

MySQL is stealing small business and even getting into medium and a few really large businesses. This is a huge hit against SQL Server. They counter by increasing the price in SQL Server. It drives people away from using their database system.

Office is great, but it's really expensive, especially when it comes to a medium sized business, or a business that's just getting started. OpenOffice and Google Docs both can do almost everything that office can do, and they are free. How does Microsoft counter? By raising their prices. Instead of offering an add based version of software that's free they raise the price and make it harder to get to.

I'm writing code in Java right now, but I've used Visual Basic 5, 6, and Visual Studio and Visual Studio 2005. I think that Microsoft's development tools are hands down better than Eclipse for Java, however, Eclipse is free, Visual Studio is more than a thousand dollars. I do like that they offer an express version, but they have an opportunity to offer more cheap tools.

Users want a cheap way into a company, they want good cheap or free tools. And when they get into harry situations they want someone they can call for support. Microsoft is going after Yahoo for customers and advertisers. If someone is using Yahoo now, it's because Yahoo offers something Microsoft doesn't, if Microsoft purchases Yahoo and doesn't keep doing what Yahoo is doing then they will lose those customers. Those customers have already decided, Microsoft isn't for them.