Microsoft Manages To Buy a Small Chunk of Yahoo After All

Everyone who's anyone -- at least, anyone who watches Jim Cramer on CNBC -- knows Microsoft tried to buy Yahoo for an amount that would have Detroit execs doing cartwheels (and maybe even restructuring their operations). Microsoft gave up that quest (and actually, buying Quest would've been a much smarter idea) and refuses to be pulled back in, no matter how much Yahoo shareholders beg.

But Microsoft did snag at least a chunk of Yahoo, and though I wasn't privy to the negotiations, I'm sure it wasn't anywhere near the $33 to $55 billion Microsoft almost paid for the company. Instead Microsoft recruited Yahoo's Dr. Qi Lu to lead Redmond's Online Services Group as president.

I make fun of Yahoo for falling behind Google, but let's face it -- who hasn't? Some wonder if Lu can be a liaison and help craft a search partnership between Redmond and Santa Clara, Calif. (where Yahoo's based). I guess this all depends on how mad Yahoo is that Lu left.

Meanwhile, Steve Ballmer says he may be interested in a Yahoo search partnership, but there've been no talks yet.

Obama Zunes His Way to the White House
Many assume that Obama, as a liberal intellectual, would be an Apple guy all the way. Turns out that our president-elect uses a Zune -- or so say those who spotted the Microsoft device attached to Obama's body at the gym.

What about Vista, you ask? Barack is apparently on record as a Mac user.

Microsoft Pushes Cool
Is Microsoft cool? The answer ain't easy. Back when geeks were geeks, Microsoft was only cool with...well, geeks!

But geeks are now cool. They're smart, can make tons of money and change the world -- all at the same time! And let's face it: The Xbox is now the game machine to have. How do I know? I was forced by my son Nick to buy the $300 version for his 13th birthday yesterday (my birthday is today, but somehow I don't think he'll be returning the favor).

But is Microsoft cool enough to support a clothing line? We'll soon find out as Redmond is set to launch "Softwear" T-shirts. You can get a shirt with Bill Gates' mug shot or one that simply says "DOS."

So is Microsoft cool? Would you buy a DOS shirt? Your thoughts welcome at dbarney@redmondmag.com. Slogans for these shirts also readily accepted.

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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