Microsoft's stock plunged below the $25 psychological barrier after their recent release of a record Q3 result for revenues. This is due increased spending including a project on grid computing (read here) that smacks of a copycat approach to Google's strategies.
Lets look at March 2006 Comscore rankings of the search engines.
The proposed Yahoo- MSFT move sounds like desperation to me. Yes, the new alliance will give both the content portals a shot in the arm, if search is included, (which is likely from the proposed deal), then they get 41% share, comparable against Google's. Ad networks will surely have to be combined as well in order to leverage off the combined content portals and this will give the new "YahooSoft" portal an unassailable lead in terms of web traffic. But this move doesn't sound likely as it means Microsoft will be sending a signal that its past year of innovation efforts in search and creating its online ad network were futile and it decided to find the shortcut by pairing with Yahoo in order to catch Google fast.
Then again, "Yahoosoft" will seriously undermine Google's efforts at becoming a portal with its Google Ig project. It will accelerate their need to depend on AOL for content and web property to plant its ads now that its search market share no longer forms an advantage over the independent Yahoo or Microsoft engines.
And this will only mean one winner at the end of it all. Time Warner, which had previously seemingly written off hopes of its AOL units a year ago, gets a relatively lower but significant payback for its failed AOL acquisition for reinvesting into new web media properties or consolidating its other business units to fend off criticism from Carl Icahn.
Other Links here: Ars Technica ,