Over the past few years, many things have happened to make me wonder what is going on in the halls of Redmond. Last night, another of the announcements concerning Microsoft has made me wonder if the company is being steered by committee, a committee that never meets.

The Technologizer website has a report that Microsoft is nearing a search deal with Yahoo.

‽‽‽ (yes, that rates three interrobangs)

Now, exactly what was the Bing experiment all about? We all know Microsoft has more money to blow than just about any group of five companies in the world, but still, blowing a reported 90 million dollars to then want to make some deal with Yahoo seems like the meanderings of someone best visited by those men in the little white uniforms, with the snappy jackets that tie in the back.

A cadre of Microsoft executives is in Silicon Valley to iron a search and online advertising deal with Yahoo, All Things Digital’s Kara Swisher is reporting.

The executives include senior vice president of the company’s Online Audience Business Group Yusuf Mehdi, Online Services Group president Qi Lu, and Online Services senior vice president Satya Nadella, according the report. The terms of the deal allegedly involve Microsoft paying Yahoo billions of dollars upfront to run its search advertising business; Yahoo will receive certain guaranteed payments.

Some sticking points have involved who will have control over data, and traffic acquisition cost rates, the report says. However, I think that Yahoo will take the deal: Despite its new technology initiatives, its market share is slowly decaying.

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Bing search engine has been received favorably, and it has managed to steal some market share away from Google and Yahoo. It is still too soon to tell whether a trend if developing (it launched last month), but Microsoft’s $90 million advertising campaign won’t hurt its chances at popularity.

I think the only ones favorably receiving Bing are those same press people I believe get that little extra something in their pay envelopes, when they do favorable reviews of other Microsoft ‘advanced technologies’, such as Vista. I have given Bing several impartial chances, and each time, I’ve found that Yahoo is my best friend. Perhaps Microsoft has done the same. (?)

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is like a pit bull–he never lets go after he sets his jaws around something. There has been a persistent campaign to strike a deal with Yahoo. All Things Digital says that it could happen as soon as next week. Now we wait.

Persistence is to be admired, but sometimes it is simply another word for stupidity. This could be one of those times.

This may have been the idea all along, but spending $90 million, plus whatever the rest of these payments are going to total, is similar to going into an auction where the bidding is currently at $500, and moving up, but slowing, in $100 increments, and offering $50K, just to be showy, and/ or because you’re impatient. It’s the kind of move that has everyone else in the auction scratching their heads, and wondering where the buried treasure map is hidden.

I don’t know if Microsoft thinks there is a buried treasure map, hidden on the premises at Yahoo, but if this deal occurs, there had better be; otherwise the little men in white might be called in.

It couldn’t happen to a weirder guy. OK, so the title was a bit misleading, Ballmer has focus, and direction – focus on the wrong things, and is definitely letting his emotional involvement lead in the wrong direction.


Quote of the day:

Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.       – Aldous Huxley

Will the Microsoft board be enlisting the aid of one of these?

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