Microsoft Yahoo Deal Not Out The Window Yet

I have to be honest with all of you what many of you think about the iPhone 3G I think about the Microsoft Yahoo story. I don’t believe it would be good for either company to merge and would only buy Google more time to increase its lead against the two in advertising.

Yesterday Microsoft released a statement basically saying that they’re still interested in Yahoo. Microsoft said that they would be interested in purchasing the search area of Yahoo or alternatively purchase the whole company. This deal with Yahoo’s current board clearly wouldn’t happen, as Microsoft has already tried that. But, with Carl Icahn’s proposed board it would likely happen.

Yahoo also came out and issued a statement saying that they are still ready to enter into negotiations with Microsoft if they would make an actual offer, and the offer was what Yahoo wanted.

I really think that Carl Icahn and everyone who wants Yahoo to sell either thinks that they can make big bucks from the transaction or that we live in a utopian world where this sort of merger would end up with both Microsoft and Yahoo better off afterwards. But, clearly we don’t live in a utopian world and what would likely happen is months and months (maybe even years) of trying to figure out how to integrate Yahoo into Microsoft with all of their redundant properties (search, ads, photos, blogs, email, etc.). This would allow Google to pull further ahead and destroy the competition completely (namely Microsoft/Yahoo).


Yahoo in Talks With Time Warner for AOL Merger

Over the holiday weekend Yahoo spent time talking with Time Warner. Yahoo has been trying to figure out ways to fend off a takeover attempt by Microsoft and the crazy activist shareholder Carl Icahn.

The idea is to merge AOL with Yahoo which would bring a lot of content and help the advertising area of Yahoo get some more eye balls.

Icahn is suggesting his own slate of new directors that all support the Microsoft takeover. At Yahoo’s general meeting on August 1 we’ll see some clear arguments over the future of the company.

The only other deal that I’ve seen that Yahoo is trying to make to stop the hostility within the company and outside of it is the ad deal with Google which is currently being looked at by the Department of Justice.

I personally wish all of this stuff would stop, there doesn’t seem to be any real evidence that the best thing for Yahoo would be for them to be taken over by Microsoft. I really think that if Microsoft was to takeover Yahoo it would be bad for both companies and great for Google. The managerial issues of merging the two companies would be terribly complicated and would buy some more time for Google to pull further and further ahead.

The Register

Windows 7 Features Shown Off On Video

Windows 7 will have many improvements, some of which are shown off in this video, none of which are all that amazing but good to know none the less.

Features Shown:
Windows Explorer
FTP Locations
Keyboard Shortcuts
Screen & Animation Capture
Disk Usage Analyzer
Task Manager
Virtual Drive
Website, Blog and Portal Designer

Coming Soon (presumably in a later video):
Image Conversion
Document Conversion
PDF Conversion
Password Manager

Exactly, like I said, nothing revolutionary but I do like the idea of a website, blog and portal designer and a unified password manager (like OS X’s Keychain) would be awesome.

Microsoft Zune Surpasses 2 Million Sales

The Microsoft Zune is the number two digital music player in the United States, we already know that the Apple iPod is number one but just how far behind is the Zune?

Turns out that the Zune is REALLY far behind, since its launch in November 2006, the Zune has sold 2 million units, by comparison Apple sells about 2.65 million iPods per month.

The Zune is actually selling faster than the iPod did when it was first released, it took the iPod a full 2 years to sell 2 million units, Microsoft has beaten that time by 5 months or so.

Microsoft has already announced that games will be coming to the Zune soon and just recently the Zune Marketplace was updated to offer TV show downloads. although the Zune may eventually takeover Apple’s top spot it still could take many many years. The Zune is one heck of an alternative though and if sales continue to do better and better you may actually be able to squirt songs to others on the bus someday soon (that’s if people actually decide to leave the Wifi on).


Some AMD Based Computers Having Problems With XP SP3

The much anticipated Windows XP Service Pack 3 was recently pushed into Windows Update and is now causing a lot of headaches of AMD CPU users.

One user reported “I just installed Windows XP SP3 and after completing the processes and when the system reboots, the system cannot proceed to lad the Windows. It just displays the flash screen of Windows then after it reboots again.”

According to Jesper Johansson, a former program manager for security policy at Microsoft, the problem is affecting only AMD equipped PCs sold by HP (and a few other manufacturers), because HP deploys the same image to Intel based computers that they do to AMD based computers.

These AMD computers have the intelppm.sys driver installed and running. That driver provides power management on Intel based computers.

So hopefully if you are having this problem you are pointing your finger in the right direction, not towards Microsoft but towards your PCs manufacturer. I have installed Service Pack 3 on two computers and both of them are running as smooth as they ever have.

Jesper’s Blog

Microsoft’s $59.95 Microsoft Office Ultimate Offer Ending Soon

I talked about the “Ultimate Steal” last September, the Ultimate Steal is an offer to college students with a valid .edu email address and a course load of at least 0.5 credits (although I’m not sure if they would actually be able to check how many classes you are taking, the .edu email address may be enough) for Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate (which retails for $680) for $59.95, that’s about a 91% discount off of the retail price.

Well I am just reminding all of you about this because the promotion is going to end on May 16.

This is a tremendous deal especially if you are one of those who NEEDS to use Office and one of those alternatives (OpenOffice) isn’t good enough for you, I understand how you feel, I would rather not be the weird one who used that OTHER program but unfortunately I don’t really want to spend any money on my word processor. But, if you want to pick it up head on over here, and again, valid .edu email address and 0.5 credit course load.

Microsoft Abandons Yahoo Acquisition

One year ago today was the first time I ever mentioned the idea of Microsoft acquiring Yahoo, at that time Microsoft had gone public with it but in February of this year Microsoft formally announced that they were offering $44.6 billion to acquire Yahoo.

Microsoft then made a deadline for Yahoo to respond, which then ended and the story seemed to drag on forever. Yesterday it all ended when Microsoft officially abandoned the Yahoo acquisition.

“We continue to believe that our proposed acquisition made sense for Microsoft, Yahoo and the market as a whole. Our goal in pursuing a combination with Yahoo was to provide greater choice and innovation in the marketplace and create real value for our respective stockholders and employees,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in a statement distributed early Saturday evening.

Microsoft had raised the initial bid to $33 per share but that didn’t sway Yahoo which wanted $37 per share. “After careful consideration, we believe the economics demanded by Yahoo do not make sense for us, and it is in the best interests of Microsoft stockholders, employees and other stakeholders to withdraw our proposal,” said Ballmer.

Yahoo has issued a statement saying that they do still believe that the offer was too low and that many shareholders agreed with that position.

I am a little surprised by this, I at least expected Microsoft to “attempt” a hostile takeover (the only reason I use “” around attempt is because I believe it would have been a half hearted attempt). But, I also think that this was their best decision, having to deal with the merger of two monoliths would have been a nightmare and might have given Google enough time to pull ahead even further.

Although I’ve heard that some analysts may be thinking that this is just Microsoft’s way of waiting until the Yahoo stock price tanks and then trying to either do a hostile takeover anyway or offer another acquisition bid, but I hardly see that happening especially since I don’t believe Microsoft ever really wanted Yahoo to beginning with.


The Microsoft Yahoo Deal Is Tiring.

It’s possible that this Microsoft Yahoo deal might actually happen, the New York Times says that Microsoft has upped the original $44.6 billion bid by “several dollars.” The NYT didn’t say exactly by how much and the quote is from an unnamed source but at least they are talking.

I still personally don’t want this to happen and actually don’t think it will anyway. Steve Balmer has already said that they could build the advertising network that they are trying to get without buying Yahoo, basically saying that they don’t really need Yahoo, and Bill Gates has said many times that they aren’t going to raise the bid. But, as I mentioned earlier they did raise their bid so who knows what will truly happen at this point in the game.

I still subscribe to the idea that John C. Dvorak has said several times, the EU won’t let this happen because of antitrust issues. Microsoft may convince Yahoo to finally concede and become one with Microsoft but because the EU has seemed to have it out for Microsoft for so long and will hit them for antitrust.

This whole Microsoft Yahoo thing is so confusing and Microsoft has never really seemed like they were trying that hard to acquire Yahoo. It is hard to draw any conclusions from this news. To be honest with you, the deal is just tiring, I wish Microsoft would get it through its thick Steve Balmer shaped skull that they DON’T need to be in advertising and if they spent as much time improving their software as they do talking about how they are going to do a hostile take over of Yahoo, their OS and Office would be undoubtedly the best products in the software segment that they sit in.

Microsoft give up, and save us all from the frustrations of trying to figure out how these two companies with such differing corporate cultures would ever assimilate into one another and quit it.

New York Times

What Happens Next In the Microsoft Takeover Bid For Yahoo

The deadline for Yahoo to reply regarding the Microsoft take over ended Saturday night, so what happens next? Will Microsoft attempt a hostile take over, will Yahoo accept the bid, or will Microsoft walk away?

I think that Microsoft will give a half hearted attempt at a hostile take over but eventually walk away. This merger wouldn’t be good for either Yahoo! or Microsoft. Microsoft would now have to deal with all of these properties that Microsoft already has clones of, Flickr, Yahoo video, Yahoo Mail, etc. and it wouldn’t be good for Yahoo! because I think that Yahoo! is WAY undervalued and could actually has a pretty good chance at taking on Google, I DON’T think that Microsoft+Yahoo has any chance at taking on Google because of the issues of dealing with the merger.

Let’s take the AMD/ATI merger for example, neither AMD or ATI was beating their main competitor when they began the merger, but after the merger happened Intel and Nvidia pulled so far ahead at price/performance that AMD/ATI is having a really hard time competing.

The same thing that is happening with AMD/ATI WILL happen to Microsoft/Yahoo and let’s face it, I don’t think either Microsoft or Yahoo are that well managed on their own.

I haven’t talked about this story on the blog at all, mostly because I figured it would blow over a lot quicker than it has, I’ve always thought that it was a bad idea and pretty much thought that it was a non-story because I (like John C. Dvorak) believe that even if Microsoft tries to takeover Yahoo the EU will stop it dead in its tracks.

Microsoft Announces Works SE (Sponsored Edition)

Microsoft has begun offering a free advertising supported version of Microsoft Works, you know that not as good as Microsoft Office suite of applications that seems to be pre-installed on nearly every computer from major manufacturers because it only costs like $1.00 for the manufacturer to add it in, yea, that one.

Currently this brand new Microsoft Works SE (Sponsored Edition) doesn’t seem to be available to just anyone but is only available to PC manufacturers who want to install it on systems that they sell.

This version of works runs just as well as the full version but users will see an advertisement in the program window. I don’t really know why manufacturers would want to use this program instead of something like OpenOffice, except maybe if they think that Microsoft has the kind of name brand that would make people spring for a computer because it has a not so wonderful Office suite installed on it, but none the less if you want to purchase a computer with Microsoft Works SE pre-installed it is showing up on a handful of models being sold by manufacturers in the US, Canada, and a few European countries.

Windows XP To Stick Around Until 2010

Microsoft has announced that they are going to be extending support for Windows XP because many of the computers in the market today are incapable of running Windows Vista.

Microsoft had previously set the date for the end of XP on June 30, 2008 but since there are so many computer that still can’t run Vista they have decided to push that back to June 30, 2010. Oddly enough this is also around the same time that Microsoft is expected to ship Vista’s successor, Windows Seven.

I’m glad that Microsoft decided to extend support for XP, but it seems odd to me that Microsoft has spent such a long time on Vista and yet it still hasn’t made the impact that Microsoft has really wanted it to, not to mention the backlash from consumers, some of which are boycotting Vista and sticking with XP.

Windows XP to get prolonged shelf life [TG Daily]

I’m Moving Back to Windows XP

No, it isn’t what you are thinking, my primary computer is still going to be my MacBook, but what is going to change is my secondary computer. My PC that usually just sits in the corner and is either off or is encoding away at the latest Netflix DVD so that I can watch it wherever I want, is now going to be running Windows XP.

The reason I’m switching back to XP isn’t because there is a certain program that doesn’t work under Vista, I’m not having driver issues, and I actually like the look of Windows Vista, I’m moving back to XP because I need something a bit faster. Windows Vista runs pretty fast for the amount of extra stuff it is capable of doing, but since the primary purpose of this computer is to just sit and encode DVDs into H.264 for my AppleTV, I don’t need it to do all that extra stuff.

So what I’ve decided to do is move back to Windows XP and use a combination of DVD Decrypter, DVD43, and Handbrake to backup all of the DVDs so that I can watch them where I want (this is fine under fair use, since the DVDs that I backup I either have payed for or are from Netflix and are deleted once watched).

I want to make it very clear however that I’m not doing this because I don’t like Windows Vista, I’m simply moving back because XP better suits my needs, if my PC was my primary computer I’m sure I would really enjoy many of the features that Windows Vista has and XP doesn’t, but since I am using a MacBook as my primary computer, XP works just fine.