Thursday, July 13, 2006

Smart Move or Scared Panic?


the opinion of ryan

I read this news story today which talks about Microsoft partnering with Yahoo to provide common Instant Messaging service between the two companies. This means that users of the MSN messenger will be able to talk to Yahoo Messenger users and vice versa without using a third-party program like Trillian. This means no more switching programs, or maintaining two buddy lists...everybody's happy.

Or are they? Think about this...why would Microsoft and Yahoo join up like this? AOL is already losing subscribers to the tune of hundreds of thousands per month, making it less and less of a competitor each day. On top of that, Microsoft is riding a media wave with all their announcements and news lately, so they're in fairly good shape. Yahoo, too, is doing very well. So why the partnership?

I think there could be several reasons. Like my title says, this is either a smart, logical, business move that will benefit both companies, or it's a move sparked by fear. I think the latter is more likely. They're scared of Google.

Not scared of Google's IM program, Google Talk, per se, but scared of the company in general. Google is up to something. They keep moving forward, rolling over anyone in their path. Microsoft and Yahoo, formerly the two heavyweights in this arena, are a little worried, and rightly so.

Personally, I think this move is to secure friendly relations between the two companies in order to prepare for future attacks by Google. I'm curious how Google is going to respond to this. They probably won't do anything. They'll just keep humming along, quietly gaining steam. This next year is going to be a very interesting one...

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