Will Microsoft and Yahoo really merge one day? I've been thinking about that question since March.
Either Microsoft or Yahoo could take share from Google if they "make their web search or advertiser services easier to access," according to the 10K. But that's a big if. A big part of the reason their products are hard to access is because they're confusing and bombed with too many ads.
Or, says Search Insider, their combined portals would be powerful traffic generators. Not likely. Portals are fading in importance to younger Web surfers. They're too annoying. Yahoo gets traffic mainly because people find it too hard to switch from Yahoo mail, and Microsoft gets most of its traffic by being the default home page on PCs.
But Google is making headway offering default services with PC makers such as Dell.
Also, Microsoft could make search an integrated part of Windows. That's exactly the kind of move that got Microsoft in trouble with the SEC and other governments. But it's possible now that Microsoft isn't the biggest bully on the block.
And let's not forget that Google is offering software services that compete with those from Microsoft and Yahoo. Still early, but that's the future of software.
What such a merger would really be after is a bigger advertising network. That could make them more competitive. But in a more balanced article, PC World points out the snag: Merging the technologies of the two companies is harder than building a platypus from scratch.
Most mergers fail, and big mergers fare the worst. There would be enormous chaos if these two companies were to merge, and Google would gain ground while it happened.
And finally, volume is not everything in advertising. What you want is relevant ads. Yahoo and Microsoft don't yet seem to be able to wean themselves from the idea of pushing stupid and irrelevant ads on us because advertisers pay them a lot.
A merger would be a big upheaval, but I don't think it would be much of a threat. Only hard work and smart moves can beat Google.