Yes to Yahoo-MSN, No to Microsoft-Buys-Yahoo

After fumbling its opportunity to get in bed with AOL, Microsoft has one more way to gain the scale necessary to be a serious competitor to Google: Get in bed with Yahoo.  (I am extremely skeptical that the MSN-is-a-Microsoft-division strategy will ever work–a skepticism developed over 11 years of watching Microsoft make vow after vow …

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Time Warner to Keep AOL, Sell Cable, and Buy…MSN?

Matthew Karnitschnig of the WSJ kicks off the morning with a Twilight Zone piece about how Time Warner may not dump AOL after all, but instead sell off cable and “double down” on the Internet by buying another big net company. Without commenting on the plausibility of this theory (except to say that it would be quite …

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Time Warner, AOL, Google Menage

On the verge of apparently doing a disastrous sales-force combo with MSN, Time Warner has reportedly pulled a positive AOL deal out of the hat.  According to the WSJ, Time Warner’s new partner, Google, will fork over $1 billion for 5% of AOL and remain AOL’s search partner, and AOL will get free links to its …

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Get Paid to Search: Now MSN’s Talking

Finally, an idea from Microsoft (or at least from Mr. Gates) that might actually cause some tremors in the paid search world.  Instead of keeping all that super-high-margin search revenue for itself–the way Google does–Microsoft is apparently thinking of sharing some of it with the folks who create most of the value: the searchers.  Or …

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MSN: Another Quarter Closer To Irrelevant

As shown by yesterday’s numbers, MSN’s financial performance continues to deteriorate.  With each passing quarter, in my opinion, the chance that the division will ever mount a serious challenge to Google and Yahoo in search (or any web business) gets slimmer and slimmer. MSN advertising revenue rose only 7% y/y, a deceleration from December’s mediocre …

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