The recent announcement of Microsoft’s intention to buy Yahoo! is, in my opinion, marking the end of the short, initial period during which the Internet was populated by different subjects. During these initial 15 years, the proliferation of different subjects, all fighting against everybody else to gain market share, was allowing independent producers to break in and to find niches not yet occupied by the principal subjects (which were too much busy in fighting….).
The Yahoo! acquisition will, at the end, create a de-facto oligarchy. The two actors (Microsoft and Google) will split their dominance on the world of the Internet thus, de-facto, preventing independent forms of content production to flourish.
The fault of this lays, in my opinion, on the weakness with which the Business and Political worlds accepted the enormous power of Google.
- It is very sad to see that, instead of facilitating more democracy and competition (and, thus innovation!) by forcing a split of Google or by empowering a non-profit organization for managing the “Internet Search” business, the lack of governance of this fundamental aspect of the modern world (the Internet) allowed the creation of this oligarchy.
- It is sad to see that, from now on, opposing to Google would imply choosing Microsoft!
- It will be interesting to understand which effects this new situation will have on IT departments and on the “providers of IT departments” (editors, consulting firms, outsourcing…)
Will a more safe dominant position in the Internet area (with all the cash flow that could happen from that) change the way in which Microsoft will approach and will be approached by IT shops?