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Do you think it will make the Internet more closed and proprietary if Microsoft acquires Yahoo!?
Will it make you advertise using Microsoft or Yahoo! rather than Google, if you are already a Google advertiser?
What would you do if you were Eric Schmidt, running Google?
How would a Microsoft,Yahoo! company affect your relationship with Google?
Will it matter to Mountain View?
1. Yahoo! is a bargain
2. Yahoo! has services that can be very precisely targeted with ads if they have the right owner - and the ads need not be as ugly as they are now.
3. Yahoo! has services that can be vastly improved. For example, Yahoo!Groups - how many group members actually read information put on the group website by other members. How easy is it for the administrator to change member addresses? Much can be done to enhance, refine and do razor sharp marketing with Yahoo!Groups. That is just one property that could be leveraged on Yahoo!'s sites.
4. Innovation and openness of the Internet will continue regardless of Microsoft and Yahoo! - if they lock up parts of the network then some people will run away and innovate - others will be prepared to pay for premium network services. Being innovative and open, doesn't always get you the biggest margins or the fastest growth.
5. Open is a relative term - Sun advertised itself has having an open architecture in the mid-1980s - but it was hardly as open as the mass market IBM PC platform despite using a "more open operating system - UNIX" - compared with the proprietary PC operating system. If you like an open platform then use Linux on your laptop!
6. Google could acquire Yahoo! and vastly improve its appeal to advertisers. It would help Google expand its reach and some properties could be merged to reduce costs - Flickr and Picasa - for example.