Every time I install a new piece of software and click on the dreaded "Agree to the Terms and Conditions / license agreement" I can't avoid thinking "yeah, yeah, I sell my soul to the devil, whatever".
Today one installer had this dialog:
Who would want to read another post on the latest soap opera that stormed through the geek-world? Most people won't, but that is not going to prevent me from writing one.
Yahoo played the part of tough cookie. I'm surprised that Jerry Yang didn't go back to Balmer with a note saying "its not you, its me. I'm so confused, can't commit!". The whole thing has been too hormonal, too teenager. And Y! trying to make the School's ugly nerd (Microsoft) jealous by going with the quarterback (Google) was just hilarious. Hilarious on an uncomfortable-to-watch, I-really-should-not-be-laughing way.
That being said, I must admit I'm happy that the thing didn't kick off.
Why is it good? Because I truly believe Yahoo can do a better job in trying to innovate and cut the advantage Google has on its own rather than with Microsoft. If it had happened, Microhoo would most certainly lost a lot of users (who'd have nowhere to go but to Google).
I think Yahoo! thought they were too good to be true for far too long. Now they realize they are in a tough spot. That is the reason why they now have a new strategic plan to start moving their engines. What I dislike about their plan is that its implementation so far seems to have relied more on accquiring than on innovating from within.
Someone recently told me: "Yahoo is the place where good apps go to die". The transition from Garage startup to big corporation didn't suit Yahoo well. Google is undergoing that same process in which they no longer are a bunch of kids doing fun stuff but a corporation that makes business. I want to see how they handle the first time they have to sack a good chunk of their employees.
They have a good core of nice applications, and did some smart shopping (del.icio.us, flickr), but they need to start doing something to take stuff a step forward. Integrating logins is not integrating applications, and that is all they've done. Besides, can anyone tell me what serious never-seen-before innovations yahoo has come up with on any of the stuff they own and run for the past... 6 years?
Now, when I read Jerry's post on Yodel I know things are wrong:
We know the spotlight will probably stay on us for a while. That’s fine — we have a clear path ahead and momentum to build on. And thousands of dedicated Yahoos around the world who have held up well to scrutiny. It’s now up to us to show what we Yahoos can really do.
Dude, having the spotlight on you is not "fine". It is awesome. You should leverage that to motivate your people, inspire your engineers and get you out of that nowhere land where you've been so comfortably sleeping in and start build that "momentum" you talk about. You are on everybody's mouth and not because of a sex or drugs scandal, that can't be that bad.
I reserve the opinions on Microsoft's web applications for myself. But let's just say that if my yahoo mail started looking and working like the live.com one, I'd drop it quick. If it started working like their latest OS, I'd go hermit and never taouch a computer again in my life.
Bottom line is: If yahoo! gets its act together an Google starts behaving more and more like a "large corporation" (I see the signs already) there is still a chance. That chance wouldn't of existed if Microsoft got its hands on Yahoo!.
See, Mariano, told you I smelled a post coming.