The dust is still settling from Jerry Yang's announcement that he is to step down as Yahoos' CEO. I wonder if Yahoo! has any idea what it wants to be. Search, Advertising or Neither.
There is still talk of Microsoft buying Yahoo! Search, which is fair enough take the least toxic bit of Yahoo! But what are you then left with. Yahoo! Mail, Delicious & Flickr they are the only remaining big properties that Yahoo have on the books.
Delicious & Flickr have yet to be monetized and the user base on both platforms would kill the person responsible for upsetting the status quo. That leaves Yahoo! Mail, which has some ads but the willingness of Yahoo! to go with the Google advertising deal means they are likely making no money on that either.
So how is Yahoo making money?
Sure its got deals with BT in the UK providing the homepage and mail service to all BT Broadband customers, and it has some News properties which are well trafficed. User growth is going to be negligible anybody who would want to sign up for a Yahoo! Account probably have, its a problem many big companies face and sure there have been attempts to get the workforce re-invigorated but so far nothing new and astounding has made it through the door, and what has been something a bit different had to be bought in.
I have said many times before that Yahoo! doesn't have a clear sense of what it wants to be; Search, Advertising, Content or Video, it just doesn't sit nicely anywhere and it can't be the agregator for all because Google has sewn that one up however, thats not to say Yahoo! couldn't compete - they could if they become a strong leader in the tech sector again.
If I where Yahoo! I would invest heavily in cloud computing services, rather than following try and jump ahead. Just like Apple did in 1997.
After Microsoft left Yahoo! at the altar, its got me thinking is Yahoo! ever going to get back to what it was. Most of all the scorched earth policy that Yahoo! used against Microsoft has done them more harm than good.
Its apparent to anybody with any common sense, that Yahoo! has too many fingers in too many pies. Even down to having competing products within the same company, they have some stellar internet properties but mis-manage them or let them go cold and the talent leave.
Yahoo! needs to focus and innovate not play catch up (more) also they need a clear brand stratergy are they a search, advertising or community company. They cannot be everything to everybody in the short-term they just need a stellar product that works and can propel them to where they should be. Yahoo! Live is a good product but not enough time was invested at launch and it failed, del.icio.us and Flickr are also good but they haven't really seen any development since their acquisition. Pipes is also another great idea (and powers some of the backend systems of this site) but is difficult to get into and under promoted.
Yahoos' best bet is to pick one of its web properties such as del.icio.us and develop and innovate that platform and put some fire back into the thing, then move on to the next product. Build fantastic products in social areas such as Bookmarking, Photo, & Video and they could be in with a chance of re-gaining some market clout that they once enjoyed.
Live Mesh puts you at the center of your digital world, seamlessly connecting you to the people, devices, programs, and information you care about - available wherever you happen to be. www.mesh.com
Microsoft being its usual self has joined the web 2.0 party, and looks as if the Yahoo! bid was a hint at a much larger plan.
So what exactly is the significance of Mesh and the whole Microsoft online play? Its validated a couple of ideas cloud computing is definitely going to have a massive impact the way in which we interact with both mobile devices and laptops/desktops, and also Microsoft has seen a little sense and is bending to the will of user.
An obvious application that Microsoft will put into mesh is Office, quite frankly the current online offering is underwhelming and Google Docs beats it, but in mesh with a cross-platform version of office that follows you I would be willing to pay for that.
Did I here you say Cross-Platform?
Along with the announcement of Mesh some other intersting things came out of the tour, support for Macs! Is this a much bigger plan to get out of the Operating System business or transition to providing a thinned out operating system that can access mesh (They may even use an Open Source kernel)
I think Microsoft has got themselves some new friends and I will be sure to check out Mesh in more detail very soon. Its going to interesting if they do it right...
I have gone from thinking Microsoft buying Yahoo! might be a good idea to thinking its a truly terrible idea.One simple thing Flickr they will make a complete hash of Flickr, if they don't sell it first.
Also alot of the features I like in Yahoo! mail which they aren't gonna keep because it doesn't use a Microsoft Product i.e ASP or whatever the backwards language is called.
2008 has just got a whole lot worse if the deal comes off.
Microsoft has offered $44.6billion to buy Yahoo! At least if Microsoft does by Yahoo!, Live! search becomes half decent and there are some real brains in the web division, it could also go the other way and Yahoo! becomes what Live! is now.
Even with the combined forces of Microsoft & Yahoo there will still be a long way to go before, they can topple the impressive lead Google has over them both. Only time will tell.
As much as Tesco is excelling at what it does it is diversifying too much, look at Apple mid 90s. As much as Human Nature says do everything, you should really stick to what your good at before branching out. Tesco has only one asset if it all goes wrong, they have the money so they will have likely lost very little money on it.