Thursday, August 6, 2009

Web Wednesday does Microsoft-Yahoo

There was plenty of boozing at last night’s Web Wednesday but not before we all got stuck into the curious Microsoft-Yahoo deal which promises to bring the fight to Google.

On the panel for the discussion was Integricity executive director Warren Tan, Carat managing director Roy Tan, and Media Prima’s GM business development and strategy Navonil Roy.

So, what do the guys think about the deal which basically sees Microsoft take over Yahoo’s search operations in exchange for some value?

Carat’s Roy Tan described Google as a “frienemy” and said the partnership was a good idea because anything that brings more competition to the market is a good thing.

“Google has so much of our information that it’s scary,” he said.

While Alt Media’s Paul Moss got involved and added that it was good Microsoft’s Bing gives you a different set of results from Google because “you don’t always get what you want from Google.”

I asked the panel whether they thought the deal showed Yahoo had given up on search and that Microsoft with Bing, and the upcoming Windows 7, was now back -- I got varied responses.

However Media Prima’s Roy did say he thought “Yahoo had walked out of the search space” which we all know is a highly lucrative market globally.

My own thoughts is the deal is good news for Microsoft because it will help propel them forward in markets which they haven’t been performing very well in – search and online advertising.

Plus when the news was announced, it was Yahoo’s stock that went down while Microsoft went up which goes to show what Yahoo shareholders think of the deal.

Sure, Yahoo doesn’t need to invest in search anymore which will make them more profitable but they are breaking up their search team – the guys who built something great – and if they want to be a top internet company they need smart guys like that around.

Anyways back at Web Wednesday and the conversation swiftly turned to Twitter.

“Twitter democratises search,” Integricity executive director, Warren Tan said.

Tan reckons because of this he would put Twitter on par with Google and that he trusts Twitter search more. But Carat’s Roy Tan argued it was a case of search for information versus search for opinion.

Good night!

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