Are you worried that Big Bad Microsoft will dominate the Internet now?

I have to laugh sometimes at how un-informed some TV and other media pundits are when it comes to the world of technology.

“That’s news to you?”

Well, I shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose.  More specifically, though, and technology-knowledge aside (and forgiven), I do think that the comments and blanket-statements on the competitive landscape should be more thoroughly thought-out. 

“Anything in particular?”

I just had to comment on something I saw this morning on one of our national TV morning “news” shows.  The “pundit” was shooting his/her mouth off about how “Microsoft is trying to get Yahoo so that it can now dominate yet another area in the computer industry.”

“Is that a bad thing?”

Judging by the way this person said it; apparently, it is.  But I agree to some extent.  Of course, I honestly and selfishly want Microsoft to succeed; as a fan, an employee, and a shareholder.  I’m certainly not shy or unashamed about that.  But I also agree that Microsoft has been at its absolute best when faced with great competition.  The creativity and innovation, and the motivation that comes from great competition has led to some of the best products.  And the industry as a whole will benefit through more choice, better service, and faster innovation.

The big problem is, though, that comments like this in the media are made with the assumption that Microsoft will suddenly “own the Internet” if the Microsoft/Yahoo deal goes through.  That we are, with a few big acquisitions, suddenly buying our way into Internet domination.

“Aren’t you?”

Nope.  It’s flattering, to be sure; but wholly inaccurate.  And honestly, I didn’t really realize just how inaccurate until I read the first couple of paragraphs of Brad Smith‘s statement in a press release that came out yesterday. 

PressPass Statement “The combination of Microsoft and Yahoo! will create a more competitive marketplace by establishing a compelling number two competitor for Internet search and online advertising. The alternative scenarios only lead to less competition on the Internet.

Today, Google is the dominant search engine and advertising company on the Web. Google has amassed about 75 percent of paid search revenues worldwide and its share continues to grow. According to published reports, Google currently has more than 65 percent search query share in the U.S. and more than 85 percent in Europe. Microsoft and Yahoo! on the other hand have roughly 30 percent combined in the U.S. and approximately 10 percent combined in Europe.”


So.. is this deal worse, or better for competition?  Brad says it’s better.  I agree.  And from the numbers it certainly looks like it is Google who monopolizes the search world currently.  Even when combined, the new Microsoft/Yahoo team-up is a distant second. 

I hope the pundit who made those statements this morning will see Brad’s statement, and look more closely before jumping on the all-too-easy “Microsoft dominates yet-again” bandwagon.  To me, this deal looks like it will result in more choice, better service, and faster innovation.

What do you think?  Is the potential for Microsoft to own Yahoo a good thing or a bad thing?

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