Thursday, July 30, 2009

Search and Sensibility: The Romance of Microsoft and Yahoo's Courtship

Microsoft and Yahoo's long trip down the aisle has been worthy of Jane Austen, beginning with months of awkward flirting and unrequited passes. But after 18 months of courting, the two families were pleased to formally announce the companies' pending marriage. All are invited.

Microsoft comes to the deal with a much-needed dowry for struggling Yahoo. But the pair's future will depend just as much on what investors and regulators think of this arrangement as it will on the technology and marketing smarts this union would combine.

I rounded up some background and instant analysis on NPR's All Tech Considered blog this afternoon (my first item for Commenters chimed in as well.

One wrote, "I heard that Google is giving them a lovely toaster"

Asked another, "Where are they registered, eBay?"

In that posting I also wrote about the "Microhoo" label and some of the other clever names that headline writers and bloggers have used to shorthand this deal. My new favorite is "Yang," which combines "Yahoo" with "Bing," the new Microsoft search engine. Only trouble is whether Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang would nix THAT merger, as he did so many others before stepping down as CEO last year.

(Image above: Thomas Sully's 1834 painting, "The Love Letter," at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archeology.)

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