Blodget: Microsoft implying they may be poised to buy Yahoo

Henry Blodget’s got an interesting take on the recent UBS talk by Microsoft where they suggested a plan to capture “30-40%” of the search market over the next several years.  Although the literal reading of this does not seem to suggest a Yahoo buyout, Blodget is correct that it is simply absurd, even given the normal Microsoft bluster factor, for Microsoft to think they can capture this much of the market in a short time …. unless they buy Yahoo, which as Blodget points out gives them all this, and more, instantly.  

Given Yahoo’s modest capitalization of some 30 billion, and Yahoo’s huge online prospects (they have similar traffic to Google but with far poorer monetization of traffic), it would not be prohibitive for Microsoft to nab them.

I’ve noted before this would be an excellent move for Microsoft.  It still is.

Disclaimer: I’ve got some Yahoo shares.   Not that they are doing me much good right now.    But they’d probably jump in value if Microsoft bought them.   Did this influence me writing about this?   I don’t think so, but since money is the root of all evil you can’t really trust me on Yahoo analyses, disclaimers or not.   Also important is that nobody can predict the market swings with any forward looking reliability.   So there. 

Coffee Calendar

[crackle-crackle-ssssss=pfffffttt!] … we interrupt the technology ramblings AGAIN to bring you EVEN MORE mildly shameless promotions of friend and family projects ….

My brother-in-law Ricardo Levin Morales is an artist in Minneapolis who has roots deep in the fertile coffee-bearing soil of Puerto Rico.   His Coffee Calendar is a vibrant, thoughtful reflection on the history and culture of coffee over the past few hundred years and would be an excellent gift for any coffee enthusiast.    My wife has been showing the calendar to some coffee shops here in Southern Oregon and the response has been great.
Check out the Coffee Calendar online and if you like it … order a few for Christmas Gifts. 

Pipo Nguyen-Duy is another artist I know with a unique and provocative vision of the world.  Check out some of Pipo’s work here:   Pipo teaches at Oberlin College in Ohio but lives here in Oregon and is the top player at our  Ashland Oregon Table Tennis club.

Oregon Retirement

[crackle-crackle-ssssss=pfffffttt!] … we interrupt the technology ramblings to bring you mildly shameless promotions of things I have some interest in.  Also, of course, these blog posts help me understand how blogs are ranked for various phrases and words in search engines …

Oregon Retirement is an excellent project by some friends of mine who are very familiar with the Retirement landscape in Oregon and across the country.   I’m going to partner up with them as we create a national site about retirement in the USA.    We’ll be covering both as a site and as a blog many issues relating to retirement and also featuring retirement communities across the country as well as great cities in which to retire.   The site will feature an extensive database of retirement places, a social network, and a blog.  More about this in future posts. 

Google Phone is coming, the gPhone is coming!

The Wall Street Journal has (ummm – just figured out?) that Google’s phone ambitions are substantial.  It’s not yet clear if they’ll become their own huge phone company, but I’m guessing they will and that they will do a good job solving some of the nagging problems that have been experienced by .. lets see now … 99.9% of all cell users?    I do not think this necessarily bodes well for Google financially though, and release of hardware and a national cellular network may be part of their “jumping the shark” moment.    Google has thrived as a company that could ramp up as profits rolled in.   Not so with mobile, where they will have to anticipate a lot of profit and incur huge capitalization costs in a “bet” that they can capture enough of this market to turn a big buck.     Clearly Google is already going to influence this market quite a bit by spearheading the open handset alliance and other open architecture initiatives, but it’s not clear their bottom line would have a huge positive impact even when you anticipate the revenue from advertising (currently small but sure to grow) and revenue from subscribers  (currently huge but capital and labor intensive).    

I’m torn between thinking Google clearly will fix many technical challenges with the hardware (I see even cheap phones as iPhone clones with great mapping and data and more), but Google has done a simpy *terrible* job of basic customer service over the years, feeling that if a problem solving thing can’t scale up then they won’t put much energy into that problem.    Typically this has related to advertiser problems with adwords and webmaster problems with websites.  Google has made some improvements as they hired legions of people to deal with customer service, but I cannot see Google handling millions of calls along the lines of “now, which button do I press to dial my sister in Toledo?”.  Google culture is not compatible and will become impatient with the slow, labor and capital intensive mobile landscape.   Maybe they’ll change it into something better.    Maybe they won’t.

In any case they’ll bring some great phone online and as I’ve noted before I’m very excited about that.