Battelle Agrees With Me

Ok, so I am being a little immodest, but a day after I wrote a post suggesting that Microsoft spin out search, John Battelle writes a post suggesting the same thing, with the twist that Yahoo and Microsoft form a joint venture based around search.

I am not sure I agree with the joint venture idea.

In fact I really don’t agree.

Both Yahoo and Microsoft have invested heavily in building out their search systems and ad networks. I can’t see either of them dropping their own efforts to focus on a joint venture, neither can I see either company focusing on both their own efforts and on a joint venture. Both are prey to political infighting.

And I can’t really see how this will work. Who is going to provide what resources? Who has final say? How are the technologies and profits going to be divvied up? These kinds of questions are going to keep the lawyers busy for a long time, by which time Google will be even further along.

Yahoo is currently heavily invested in building out its own search system and Panama. I can’t see them defocusing from that to put resources into a joint venture.

The smart solution would be for Microsoft to break out search as I suggested. If it succeeds, it reaps all the benefits, and if it fails, there won’t be a partner with whom to play the blame game.

In fact, I think the best thing for Google is would that Microsft and Yahoo go into a joint venture that will keep them busy while Google pulls even further ahead.


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