No Interest In Yahoo? Why, Microsoft?

Suuuuure they don't still want Yahoo's search biz

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Microsoft washed its hands of pursuing Yahoo, and the executive responsible for chasing and failing to catch Yahoo has a new job. There is a sense that Microsoft could be back.

Clausewitz viewed war as a continuation of policy. The Prussian general and veteran of the Napoleonic conflicts understood the fundamental lesson of conflict: things change rapidly.

Microsoft’s pursuit of Yahoo as a quick fix to its anemic share of the search query and advertising market apparently ended in May, and Microsoft has pointed out periodically afterward just over Yahoo they are. Even the guy who ran the failed takeover, Kevin Johnson, has departed Microsoft in favor of Juniper Networks.

So there’s no interest, people from Steve Ballmer on down in Microsoft would have us believe. We’re just not all that convinced.

David Card at Jupiter Research wants to know why anyone should believe Microsoft doesn’t covet Yahoo’s search share, as it touts a search and ad deal with Facebook :

At the same time, Microsoft claims its online strategy is all about search. So remind me, Steve, why don’t you still want Yahoo? You claim it’s search that you’re serious about, right? Search happens at search engines and at traditional portals, right? Not on social networks?

Somebody, please clear me up on the “strategy” here.

Clausewitz already cleared up the mystery a couple of centuries back. There’s no restart to talks that have been going on for years before Microsoft’s more aggressive bid at the end of January 2008. The continuation of policy never stopped, who is to say it isn’t progressing today?

Yahoo’s rough second quarter in the earnings department (though revenues rose) wasn’t the indicator of a strong company demonstrating why it didn’t need a takeover to satisfy shareholders, many of whom still seethe over the lost chance for a nice payoff at the end of two years of declining stock prices.

Just as we have seen over the past two years, we expect rumors of more Microsoft and Yahoo discussions to waft up through the tubes of the Internet, especially once Yahoo completes its annual meeting on August 1. Microsoft’s need for a broader search audience hasn’t changed one bit from January, after all.

No Interest In Yahoo? Why, Microsoft?
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