After a long courtship, is the Microsoft/Yahoo deal finally settled? Well, nothing is ever set in stone until the fat lady sings (like how I can seamlessly mesh cliche’s?), but for now, this is how the land lies…
- Yahoo will scrap it’s search technology and use Microsoft’s technology (front end Yahoo branded, back end Microsoft tech), in what is being termed a ’10 year search partnership’.
- There is no boatload of cash upfront. Yahoo will simply earn a proportion of any revenue Microsoft makes.
- This will only apply to web, image and video searches, and aggregators that use this technology (like Yahoo news). It will not affect things like the Yahoo directory, Yahoo answers, Delicious, Flickr, etc.
- Microsoft’s Bing will continue on as is.
- Changes will start in early 2010, and hopefully be all rolled out by this time next year.
- Yahoo’s search technology will be able to be used by Microsoft (perhaps to be integrated into Bing)
- Yahoo and Microsoft ad marketing will reach the whole Yahoo plus Bing audience.
Does this benefit consumers? Yahoo and Microsoft say yes, because of ‘scale’. I am not sure what that means, but there are two ways of looking at it. It could be yes if the various pieces of the ‘search’ puzzle that Microsoft and Yahoo engineers have independently come up with fit together to make something even better than their individual parts.
However, elimination of a major competitor doesn’t ‘usually’ have positive outcomes for consumers…
On the other hand, by allowing advertisers to reach the Bing and Yahoo searches using only one advertising portal saves a lot of time, is more convenient, and could help compete with Google (who of course will still have the lions share).