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Microsoft, Yahoo Finalize Search Agreement 77

Posted by Soulskill
from the keeping-up-with-the-googses dept.
Joe Quimby writes "Microsoft and Yahoo have finalized and executed their Web-search agreement after five months of deliberation, the companies announced Friday. Microsoft and Yahoo reached a revenue-sharing agreement in July to combine their search businesses. Under the 10-year agreement, Yahoo's Web search would be powered by Bing and Yahoo would retain most ad revenue from its site."
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Microsoft, Yahoo Finalize Search Agreement

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 05, 2009 @01:27PM (#30336830)

    10 years is a very long time in the Internet world. After all, Google has only existed just slightly longer than 10 years, and look at all it has done in that time.

    It seems very absurd to make a deal for that long. Although it gets much traffic, Yahoo! itself is barely relevant today, and Bing hasn't exactly been shown to be a challenger to Google's search results.

    • Sooner or later Microsoft will acquire Yahoo!, so the timeframe shouldn't be a factor. I know this move has recently failed, but just sayin'...
      • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@nOSpam.gmail.com> on Saturday December 05, 2009 @06:37PM (#30339432) Journal

        Actually I think MSFT has brilliantly pulled the wool over everyone's eyes with the whole Yahoo Search deal. While I agree with you wholeheartedly that MSFT WILL end up buying Yahoo I do NOT believe it is about search at all, and they are (quite brilliantly) getting everyone to focus on search because even with both combined they will get a much smaller piece of the pie than Google, thus making it less likely to get the regulators screaming.

        So what IS it about, you ask? Two words: Web Mail. Last I checked Yahoo was THE #1 Web Mail provider in the USA, and many Asian countries Yahoo Mail is also #1 or a close #2. This will give MSFT tons of data to mine, more ways to push MSFT technology into the cloud and score more customers (Edit Documents sent to you through Yahoo Mail with our new Office Live!) and when combined with the numbers from Yahoo and Live Messenger the deal will give MSFT probably more persistent daily eyeballs than even Google, when the services are added together.

        Ultimately I believe Yahoo will be bought by MSFT, and with everyone focused on search there won't be nearly as big a stink as if they let it be known that Mail and Messenger were their real goals, which would give them #1 status as Web Mail provider, and probably #1 on combined instant messaging. So I wouldn't make fun of MSFT too much of they manage to pull this off. It shows that after the Vista debacle they are starting to think long term and are trying to map out a long term strategy to map themselves out a serious chunk of the cloud. If they do manage to get everyone focused on search and get Yahoo acquired without major regulator hassle I would have to give them credit for a move well played. Hell I would say it is a move almost worthy of Darth Gates himself.

        • by westlake (615356)

          Last I checked Yahoo was THE #1 Web Mail provider in the USA, and many Asian countries Yahoo Mail is also #1 or a close #2.

          The geek's notions of "relevance" are not always to be trusted:

          Yahoo and Facebook have struck a deal that will allow people to log into Yahoo's vast stable of sites using their Facebook credentials. Already there is an overlap between the two sites' audiences.
          52 per cent of Yahoo visitors are also visiting Facebook, while 84 per cent of Facebook users also visit Yahoo sites.
          Yahoo still

        • In a world where 20 seconds can mean keeping or loosing a customer, a decade is veritable eternity. And I agree with you wholeheartedly about Yahoo/MSFT and it being more about mail and other services. However, I see this as the one combination that is likely to give Google a run for its money. Google, IMHO, is a far greater evil than even the Borg collective. The Borg Collective is watched and monitored and known to be evil. Google purports to "do no evil" all the while your privacy is a vanishing me

      • They just did. Yahoo is now Bing, with the Yahoo brand. Migration to Bing just happened; these two things are now equivalent, but Bing is probably faster since it's direct.
    • Yahoo is still relevant, but probably not how you'd imagine.

      Pretty much any new (and existing) ATT and Comcast accounts use Yahoo for mail services, not to mention they set Yahoo as the homepage that most users don't bother to change.

    • "Bing hasn't exactly been shown to be a challenger to Google's search results."

      Bing hasn't made much of a dent in Google's market share, but I do note that I've seen Google ads on TV for the first time after Bing came out.

  • I fail to see the mutual advantage of this deal.
    How will the end user benefit from this at all?
    • by Nyall (646782)

      Yahoo doesn't have to put R&D into search development: there is a nice 800 pound gorilla that is going to do it anyway because that is the temperament of Microsoft.

      Microsoft gets some revenue it wasn't going to get because it has such a small market share.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well, Bing is quite a bit better a search engine than Yahoo, so the end users win there.

      Yahoo gets to line their pockets in what has been a pretty rough economy.

      Microsoft gets to stick it to Google and gets access to the elusive Asian market which Yahoo has a large presence in.

      Governments around the world get to use this as fodder to extort^H^H^H^H^H^H^H fine Microsoft for millions.

      Google gets to wipe its tears with the mega-billions it has made and whimper, "Woe is us."

      That about sums it up, thanks for pla

    • by peragrin (659227)

      end users rarely benefit from this kind of deal.

      MSFT gets to double their bragging, er market share, yahoo gets money and gets to lay off search developers who weren't keeping up with google and msft anyways.

    • The end users in this case are advertisers. This will result in more eyeballs seeing their ads.
  • by HockeyPuck (141947) on Saturday December 05, 2009 @01:33PM (#30336906)

    I'd love to know what's going to become of all of the servers/networking gear that used to power yahoo search. Doubt they'll reformat and install windows/BING on them.

    • as a typical /. reader i didnt read the article, but what makes you think they're gonna get rid of any gear? i could possibly se a few jobs lost, but i dont think they're holding hands to streamline their models, rather they want to try and lay the smack down on the big 'G'

      i could see their collaborative effort, sharing source code and such, may yield some sort of search tool that is more of a threat than Google, but tbh they have a steep hill to climb, even jointly. perhaps the venture will allow the two t

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        as a typical /. reader i didnt read the article, but what makes you think they're gonna get rid of any gear? i could possibly se a few jobs lost, but i dont think they're holding hands to streamline their models, rather they want to try and lay the smack down on the big 'G'

        Yahoo doesn't need their own search engine anymore.
        It stands to reason that they don't need the hardware or coders either.
        Which part of "Yahoo's Web search would be powered by Bing" was confusing?

    • Nothing happens to them. IIRC, Yahoo Seach is just going to be "powered by Bing" just like many companies internal seach engines are powered by Google. There may need to be some migration to WIndows (If not there already) but that's going to be trivial cost. All the networking equipment is still needed, no one said anythng about closing down data centers on either side. They still got a long way to match Big G, as even if this WAS a combination of Bing and Yahoo it would still be less than 30% market share
    • by Animats (122034) on Saturday December 05, 2009 @02:23PM (#30337352) Homepage

      They'll go to Weird Stuff Warehouse [weirdstuff.com], the surplus place near Yahoo HQ. Want a few hundred servers cheap? They have them stacked up.

      Dismantling a failed company is routine in Silicon Valley. Big assets are auctioned off by DoveBid. Miscellaneous computers go to Weird Stuff. Furniture and partitions go to Consolidated Office Outfitters. In less than a month, the building will be empty and ready for rental.

    • by Ilgaz (86384)

      Perhaps MS has written the engine in true portable way and it will run under FreeBSD Yahoo uses. As you know, MS never had problem with BSD folks and even the license itself. I wouldn't be surprised a bit if MS released some high end software (e.g. Dynamics etc.) on FreeBSD tomorrow. They kinda code for it anyway, I mean they must have learned a lot already thanks to OS X department.

      I compile gettext etc. and they keep checking for documented MS languages to support, I don't think they would spare time to s

      • by the_arrow (171557)

        Yes of course MS will let Yahoo continue using FreeBSD. They did let Hotmail continue using their FreeBSD servers when they bought it, didn't they?

    • I'd love to know what's going to become of all of the servers/networking gear that used to power yahoo search. Doubt they'll reformat and install windows/BING on them.

      TFA story is:

      Microsoft and Yahoo have finalized and executed their Web-search agreement after five months of deliberation, (..)

      The servers and networking gear is already obsolete and will likely soon cause major amounts of pollution when it is burned in order to extract gold, copper, aluminum and other raw materials.

  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Saturday December 05, 2009 @01:39PM (#30336960)

    Yahoo's Web search would be powered by Bing

    One of the advantages of having several search sites is that if one site doesn't find what you're looking for, another site might. That's why it makes sense to have multiple search engines. Now there is no point in going to Yahoo if Microsoft can't find it. Same engine - same results.

    • by hoytak (1148181) on Saturday December 05, 2009 @01:55PM (#30337108) Homepage

      True. This is a sad day for everyone who searches bing and yahoo first before trying something else. All 8 of them.

    • Just imagine somebody who considers their browser to be a search engine. So they search through the search box on Firefox. Then the search box on Opera. Then the search box on Safari. They even try the web browser on their phone. And they keep getting the same results until they try Internet Explorer and finally get something different.
  • Oh dear no!! That's bad news for.. ehm.. no one!
    No one use Yahoo nor Bing (i've even put www.bing.com in my hosts)

    But frankly Google must have competition from somewhere. Google
    is becoming more privicy Evil for every day that goes by. The
    non-savvy users are screwed by default.

    • this whole notion that Google is "privacy evil" [sic] kinda bothers me. i dont understand where the issue is. even at their worst if they were data-mining and targeting your habbits to your IP address their ultimate goal is to make it more valuable for their advertisers to advertise there becasue the vendor knows they are likely to et their product in front of somebody thats interested in it.

      personally i think its a good thing. i'm going to be bombarded with ads wherever i go on the web or in real life, its

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tim C (15259)

        The point I think is that it's a huge amount of data for one company to have on each person to use not only its services, but to visit any website that uses its ad services.

        Google may not be evil *now*, but will that be true of the next management team, or the one after that?

        • by Flipao (903929)
          Microsoft have been "evil" for years and noone is bothered by it anymore, yet you're having nightmares because Google may turn evil some day?

          Somehow people are outraged at Google tracking browsing habits and yet have no problems handing over their private lives to companies like Facebook.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        I'm not bombarded by ads. They're not a fact. They just seem that way to you because you've drunk the advertising kool-aid, probably from living in the US.

        You make the comparison to NPR. Well, life with Adblock and without cable is like the BBC - there aren't any ads at all. I look outside my window and there aren't any ads there. I drive to work and the only ads I see are a few community ads on the sides of buses. I shop at Safeways and no ads are foisted on me -- the only marketing is on the products the

    • by Ilgaz (86384)

      By using it and adding a search engine as Bing who tries to achieve some success to your hosts (127.0.x I guess), you create the monster you mention "Google".

      I kept using Yahoo for a long time since I got SICK of the easily hacked Google results and horrible advertising control. Now I end up having only Bing.com as my provider since there are no other CREDIBLE engines left. It is MY right to get frustrated, you can keep on using Google.

      I hate MS and their puppets in open source, the MSCE idiots but I have t

  • "Confederation of Dunces"

  • or has Yahoo search now ceased to exist and is now just a brand name for Bing search ?

    Is this some way Microsoft have found of getting round anti trust by setting the default search in IE to Yahoo not Bing thereby avoiding the accusation that they are yet again trying to illegally leverage a monopoly in one area to create one in another ?
    • by onefriedrice (1171917) on Saturday December 05, 2009 @02:48PM (#30337562)

      Is this some way Microsoft have found of getting round anti trust by setting the default search in IE to Yahoo not Bing thereby avoiding the accusation that they are yet again trying to illegally leverage a monopoly in one area to create one in another ?

      I don't think the default search engine in IE has ever been an antitrust issue that anyone has ever cared about. But now that they're partnering with Yahoo, let's make it seem like it is? You do those of us who don't use Microsoft products a disfavor by trying to turn everything into some sort of evidence that Microsoft is the spawn of evil. They do enough unethical things that we don't need to cheapen our position by trying to fabricate more. You make our side seem desperate and irrational, and believe me we're not.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Trepidity (597)

        I don't think the default search engine in IE has ever been an antitrust issue that anyone has ever cared about.

        Well, to be fair, Google did actually complain about that [infoworld.com] in 2006...

        • I don't see them complain about the ridiculous default search engine under OS X/Safari default browser which you have to hack a signed binaries resources rendering it unsigned to change it from Google to anything else.

          That is not Firefox I talk about or not Opera, both lives with the money they get from Google and yet they allow very conveniently to change them. That is $130 (or $30 upgrade) Operating System's default web browser. Add more to the frustration? Windows Safari _allows_ you to change it to Yaho

          • Dude what the fuck are you talking about? Clicking the search box gives me the option of about 10 different searches including Yahoo! Seriously get a life and stop being an Apple hating fool.
  • by LibrePensador (668335) on Saturday December 05, 2009 @02:42PM (#30337508) Journal

    Yahoo by making itself technologically dependent on Microsoft for 10 years has given up on search. This effectively puts Yahoo out of business. It's a golden parachute for Yahoo's executives but jeopardizes any chances that Yahoo will ever be able to play in the search business again.

    As for Microsoft, it allows microsoft to gain instantly a few percentage points in web search, which should allow them to extract higher ad fees.

    Microsoft is patient and they hope that they are buying 10 years with which to figure out how to bring down Google. They have enough money, but when it comes to the web, I think Microsoft is largely irrelevant.

    If it wasn't for their desktop monopoly, nobody would even care about anything LIVE. They shove that stuff down users throat every time a user tries to download messenger, which they are only interested in because of the network effects that allowed Messenger to become relevant in the first place. I remember when no one even knew what messenger was and people hated it initially, but it kept popping up after every single XP install and telling people that they needed an account and enough people fell for this crap.

    Only another Google-like startup could outgoogle google, but it certainly won't be Microsoft or Microsoft and Yahoo's dead skeleton.

    • "Yahoo by making itself technologically dependent on Microsoft for 10 years has given up on search. This effectively puts Yahoo out of business."

      No, this keeps Yahoo in business.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Etherized (1038092)

        Indeed, it buys them time. How much time, I'm not sure about.

        Clearly, Yahoo! has decided that they simply can't compete on search. Why not let MS chase google, they figure, and take a cut for simply lending them the Yahoo! name. In the meantime, that removes a lot of search related R&D and infrastructure headcount, and they can free up those resources to chase the next big thing (well, or lay them off).

        This is a desperate move, though. It only works out if people continue to use Yahoo! branded Bing sear

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Trepidity (597)

          Yahoo does have some built-in market share that'll let them struggle on for a while as long as their search isn't terrible, which is what they might be hoping for from the Bing backend. They have huge installed bases of users of lots of their other services (email, mailing lists, now Flickr), and the Yahoo search bar shows up at the top of the page for some of those services (though not, at least for now, on Flickr)--- check out the top of the Yahoo Groups page [yahoo.com], for example. If they can keep those services

    • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @12:46AM (#30341364)

      You're simplifying this all too much.

      First, because trying to be the leader in search was never really Yahoo's game. They were about being a web portal -- basically, they wanted to be your home page. Personally, I prefer a clean home page for searching like Google's, and I suspect a lot of the people who read Slashdot do too, but an awful lot of people don't.

      To that end they went after a lot of different things. Webmail, video, fantasy sports leagues, photo hosting (Flickr), games, news, etc. I'm not saying that's necessarily been a winning strategy for them as a company, but what they were trying to do was never strictly about search.

      Microsoft, too, has a very multi-pronged business plan, even for the web. Sure, we've seen their mostly unsuccessful efforts in the search, web portal, webmail, and instant messenging areas, but there's also IE, ASP.NET, Silverlight, and too many other things to count, to say nothing of all the more indirect efforts like the XBox which start to bleed back over into the online space. In a lot of these areas they've taken on more successful established players or technologies and fought to gain market share, something that's been good for everyone since it's forced those established options to become better to stay ahead. Microsoft is the kind of company that will try to compete in a hundred different arenas, knowing that someone else might falter and that, even if not, maybe you can still make something good out of being #2 in a couple related areas.

  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Saturday December 05, 2009 @03:04PM (#30337730) Journal
    Yahoo has historically had a number of search providers other than themselves. Starting in 1996 with Altavista. They used Google as well at some point, maybe Inkitoni too? Whatever makes yahoo whatever yahoo is, isn't the search engine.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, they used Inktomi for a long time. And then they bought Inktomi and continued to use the search untill now I think. Yahoo was also one of the initial investors in Google, to make sure there were search engines available to power their search.

  • I use Yahoo (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Ritchie70 (860516)

    I use Yahoo, I just don't use it for search..

    But if you want weather, movies, or cute cat videos, they're OK.

  • That while they were so busy spending billions to scrape a few points in market share back, Google were busy making sure they were the default search engine in the most popular mobile devices for the next 10 years: Android and the iPhone, Microsoft's mobile platform is all but dead in the water, and even then, devices like HTC's Windows Mobile smartphones also default to Google.

    They're so busy catching up they have no idea what beyond the next corner.
  • MS started crushing the Google-Yahoo deal months prior to the DOJ antitrust division's meeting through their political lobbying and the usual tactics, it concluded by DOJ picking that deal apart [wired.com]. Now lets see how the new office deals with all those MS donations [boycottnovell.com] and astroturfing against Google. Lets see if DOJ kicks this deal too. Why would anyone want to strengthen the second biggest search-engine market competitor and antitrust-laws-breaking firm by giving them the bigger market share and allowing to take

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