Yahoo Ain't Worth No $44 Billion

If you listen to Wall Street, paying $44 billion for Yahoo is the smartest idea since E=mc2. Google's stock is down, and Yahoo is on the rise after Steve Ballmer's public pitch for the No. 2 search engine concern.

Let me toss some cold water on this little love-fest.

I don't see anything in the Yahoo portfolio that Microsoft doesn't already have. It's kinda like Time magazine buying Newsweek, Coke buying Pepsi or BP merging with Exxon -- just more of the same. Even worse, Yahoo is on the decline (its market share and financials are more like Boo-Hoo than Yahoo!).

Yahoo is, to a large degree, a legacy company. All its core offerings -- search, e-mail, forums, news and IM -- have been around for years. Why spend $44 billion to buy the past when you could invest that money in inventing the future?

This deal seems like a knee-jerk reaction to the Google threat. Instead of building technologies that can outpace Google, Microsoft is hoping to buy a company that has proven it can't keep pace. From a purely business standpoint, maybe the Yahoo audience is worth that kind of cash -- but this isn't a deal based on technical innovation. What do you think? Write me at [email protected].

IBM and Virtual Power
Those wedded to Wintel servers may not even realize that the old PowerPC processor (now called Power) still exists. While Apple may have bailed on the Power architecture, it still drives the world's fastest supercomputers and a line of IBM servers, as well.

One of the selling points of the IBM System p line -- besides sheer horsepower -- is energy-efficiency and high-efficiency. The System p actually has virtualization built into almost every aspect of the system, from apps to IO to management.

Formerly a pretty high-end solution, IBM is pushing a new tool, PowerVM Express, to small and medium-size businesses. The Power-based servers run every OS under the sun -- except Windows!

Stripping Vista Down to the Good Stuff
Vista gets far more criticism for what it has than for what it doesn't. The big complaints have to do with too many functions running up against too little processing.

If you want Vista but not the overhead of Media Player and other features aimed largely at consumers, then vLite is for you. This free tool strips Vista of all the features you never wanted in the first place.

Funny Stuff? You Be the Judge
Every so often, a cartoonist sends me samples of IT humor hoping to get published. In all cases, the work has been lamer than Barbaro's right leg.

There's a new contender for the IT cartoon Hall of Fame, this time sponsored by Microsoft. The strip is called "HEROES happen {here}." Not sure what that name is supposed to mean, but it sure ain't funny.

The strip is also designed to show off Silverlight. In fact, you have to download Silverlight before you can start laughing your IT butt off. I went through the process, wanting to give the strip a full whirl. The result? Less laughter than a Bill Belichick press conference.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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