Microsoft Fights Back
You're going to be reading a lot about the goings-on in the Microsoft-osphere
and the Yahoo-scape in the coming months. Here's the latest:
After being initially rejected, Microsoft has reportedly authorized a proxy
fight to win over its quarry -- or, more accurately, its quarry's
shareholders. This would be a less expensive option for Microsoft than raising
its initial $44.6 billion offer, but it could still add up to an extra $20 to
$30 million, observers predict. Next to that monster offer, a mere $20 to $30
million doesn't seem like that much.
Even in the context of its initial offer, before it got rebuffed by Yahoo,
Microsoft has made it clear that it intends to go the distance and seal the
deal. Raising the value of its initial offer -- which is half-cash and half-stock
-- would cost Microsoft an extra $1.4 billion for every dollar per share increase.
Going the proxy route, while a bit nastier, is much more economical for the
tenacious Redmondians. They'd have to hire someone to manage the proxy process
and send notices to all shareholders.
Gates has been quoted in published reports saying he feels the offer is fair,
and that Yahoo should "take a hard look at it." Between that and the
prospect of a hostile action, if I were driving the Yahoo bus, I might just
pick the easy lane to avoid having to validate my reasons to a population of
Buckle your seatbelts, ladies and gentlemen. This is bound to be a rocky ride.
Many of you have checked in already (and I thank you for that). Do you think
Microsoft should pursue Yahoo at all possible costs? What's the payback, and
is it enough? Make a deal with me at [email protected].
Sometimes Microsoft giveth (or aggressively buyeth) and sometimes it taketh
away. In this case, it giveth. And it's giving
away to students the professional editions of Visual Studio and several
other development tools. With the proper care, feeding and sunlight, these students
ought to blossom into a bumper crop of developers in the coming years.
Microsoft is calling this program of free development tools DreamSpark. The
company plans to authorize students to download and freely use Visual Studio
Professional Edition, Expression Studio, XNA Game Studio, SQL Server 2005 Developer
Edition and Windows Server Standard Edition. This will get more students comfortable
with working in these environments, and make them likely to stick with these
environments in the future -- like when they enter the workforce.
Currently, the DreamSpark program is available to more than 35 million college
students in the U.S., United Kingdom, China, France, Germany, Spain and several
other countries. This fall, high school students around the world will also
be able to join. Microsoft hopes to ultimately equip as many as 1 billion future
developers with its tools, greatly stacking the future workforce deck in its
favor. Interested students can verify their eligibility here.
Is there a budding developer in your household? How do you groom current and
potential employees? Where do you go shopping for talent? How's your staffing
situation overall? Send your organization's resume to me at [email protected].
Dell Supporting Support
The PC and server business isn't like it used to be. Hardware is now virtually
a commodity, and margins have continued to slip and slip. These days, services
bundled with the hardware are what set the Dells apart from the Gateways.
Trying to stay one step ahead of expectations, Dell is giving its services
organization an extreme
makeover. The end result will be two new levels of service: Dell ProSupport
for IT and ProSupport for End-Users. ProSupport for IT promises to streamline
the support process and help you get right to the people you need to speak to
when you need help. If your company already subscribes to the Gold Technical
Support package, you'll have access to ProSupport at no additional cost.
Do you have any tech support success stories or nightmares? Share your pain
and progress with me at [email protected].
Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.