PC World's Todd Weiss brings up the ugly specter of the Time Warner AOL deal, simultaneously killing the appetites of everyone in Sunnyvale and Redmond:
Before teaming with Time Warner, AOL was the king of the Internet, as we all clamored to have slow, software-laden Internet access at $2.99 an hour like the good consumer lemmings we were in those days. But then cheaper, faster access arrived with DSL, cable and all-you-can-use plans, but AOL and stodgy Time Warner couldn't react quickly enough. There's a lesson here. Bigger isn't always better. I read that in a fortune cookie. I could have saved Time Warner and AOL a lot of money if I'd have told them that. Hey, Microsoft and Yahoo, are you listening?
Ad revenue, schmad revenue, says Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan, quoted in BusinessWeek. It's all about the data -- and that's where Redmond wins big:
...Microsoft will nevertheless reap a reward that's more valuable in the long run. The data on computer users' online search and buying habits would ultimately reside on Microsoft's computers, thereby improving its ability to automatically serve up the most relevant ads. "If Microsoft is running the underlying ad technology, it doesn't matter who is selling the ads," Sullivan says. "In the end, Microsoft will hold all the cards."
Fast Company's Kim Eaton thinks this deal finally makes Bing a contendah for Google's crown.
Like no other deal before, and possibly unlike any other search engine that's surfaced over the years, this positions Bing as a serious competitor to Google--still the number one search engine by an enormous margin. As Microsoft's Steve Ballmer puts it: "This agreement gives us the scale and resources to create the future of search."
eSarcasm's JR Raphael ran the Microsoft-Yahoo press release through his patented BS 2.0 detector, translating eight key points of the agreement into language we can all understand. (Point #3: "Microsoft’s barely-making-a-blip-on-the-radar-despite-a-silly-name-change search platform will finally be able to make some cash by having more than 14 people using it every day.")