If Microsoft Buys Yahoo: What We'd Love--and Hate

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Love: Uber Media Site

We'd like to see MSN-Yahoo team with NBC (and related partners) and a variety of Internet TV startups to make a one-stop destination for video content. Good sites like Hulu.com and other Web-based video on demand sites are spread across the Web in a hodgepodge manner with no central site to serve as an online media master.

Yahoo is much more a traditional media company than Google at this stage and already offers great text and some TV news. Couple Yahoo with MSN and Microsoft's Web technologies (such as Silverlight) and you could see the Web's first media powerhouse. 

Hate: Two Big Brothers are Worse than One

Google is looking to gobble up DoubleClick, which has some not so positive privacy implications. Now if Microsoft buys Yahoo what Google doesn't know about you Microsoft will. It just is a bit too creepy to think of our digital footprints being so completely tracked. Live Search, Flickr, Yahoo News, MSN LIfestyle channel. With all its data it would have on us, Microsoft could come up with a personalized probability data feed that might be shockingly accurate.

Love: A True Search Competitor

Yahoo and MSN will finally give Google a run for its money when it comes to search. Google owns 57 percent of the search engine market, and Yahoo and Microsoft own together 34 percent, according to Search Engine Watch . Given the combined search knowhow of Microsoft and Yahoo we'd like to see both breathe some new life into search technology. Yahoo already has some interesting tools such as Search Assistant and Shortcuts that can make searching easier than Google. Check out Microsoft's Live Search Club to see how Live Search is getting smarter. Together we'd like to see Microsoft and Yahoo make search results more relevant and smarter.

Love: A Mobile Marriage

Microsoft and Yahoo combined would have a dynamite mobile offering without much heavy lifting. We'd like to see a marriage of Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system and its mobile business focus merged with Yahoo. We love Yahoo's mobile offerings and its mobile search, maps, and email. Yahoo already has close ties to mobile carriers so it might not take long for the strengths of both mobile teams to trickle down to our cell phones.

Hate: A Mobile Monopoly

If the mobile offerings from Microhoo! are too strong, they could strangle Google's Android mobile operating system at birth. And that would be a shame, since the open source effort promises users a more customizable phone than they've ever had. Fortunately, Android has some significant backers of its own and a nascent developers' community (Mobile Handset Alliance). But given Microsoft's industry clout and its cutthroat competitive spirit and Yahoo's cozy relationship with carriers, Google's Android platform could be in for a big fight.

Love: Yahoo Maps Get Less Lame

Live Maps seems to be one of the few Microsoft web apps that are actually good, and it may actually be better than Google Maps. (It certainly seems more up to date.) Meanwhile, Yahoo Maps suffers from a lame interface and more limited view options.

Love: YaHotmail!

Neither Yahoo Mail nor Hotmail is all that compelling on its own, but if Hotmail's new interface were applied to Yahoo's mail service (which doesn't kill your account so quickly if you don't log in), it might actually be worth using.

For more on this story, go to our special page on the proposed Microsoft-Yahoo merger.

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