We are reading through the various punditry now, and from a Windows Mobile fan's perspective, this could potentially be really great. The merger of MSN and Yahoo's services -- both online and desktop -- would become best of breed right quick. The implications are wide reaching, too. For example, Microsoft would then own Flickr and have a vested interest in making that work better with Windows Mobile. Microsoft knows that online services are where it's going to be (heck, it's where it's at now), so this would also help them against Google.
So we'll see how it goes down. Here's the thing, though: does anybody else feel like this is AOL/Time Warner all over again?
Microsoft's single greatest asset (killer app) is the breadth of software/services they could integrate (imagine, seamless from 360 in the living room, to PC in the office, to WinMob/Zune in the hand, to Server running all the synched/Live services in the cloud).
They're single greatest failing has been they complete and utter failure not only to never capitalize on this asset, but to mess it up at each and every turn. Seems galore. Everywhere. (360 works differently with media center, WMP, Zune desktop, Zune is incompatible with PlaysForSure and isn't part of WinMob, and the list goes on and on...)
Part may be monopoly-avoidance panic. Part may be succumbing to the fear that users won't accept change/progress. Part may just be mind-numbing bewilderment. Dunno.
But this will all come down to how, if at all, Microsoft can integrate Yahoo with Live and present a unified alternative to Google (who claim to be not evil).
(And it should be noted Google Video doesn't seem integrated at all with YouTube -- unless that's also in perpetual beta...)
Dont expect any significant benefit. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly just decided to continue anti-trust supervision of MS for another 2 years. In fact I find it hard to see how MS can get any value out of owning these services, when they are prohibited more or less from leveraging any exclusive knowledge to the detriment of their competitors.
The whole thing is a massive waste of time.
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