Bloggers dissect the Microsoft-Yahoo nondeal, mull over Eight Belles' Derby death, and discuss Obama's promise to the Teamsters.
Deal, er, no deal: Microsoft withdrew its much-ballyhooed bid to snap up Yahoo after a $5 billion increase failed to impress the dot-com company. Yahoo's stock took a significant hit Monday, while shares of rival Google rose.
At the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Microsoft Blog Todd Bishop shares a Microsoft internal e-mail in which CEO Steve Ballmer declares, "Ultimately, our goal is to build the industry-leading business in search, online advertising, media, and social networking. Kevin Maney at Portfolio's Tech Observer sees software, Microsoft's bedrock, as conspicously and problematically absent in that trinity of goals: "The way to sell, deliver and monetize software may be changing, but the need for great software is only going to grow. Microsoft can't compete with Google in search because, maybe, it shouldn't be trying to. It should be able to kick Google's butt in delivering software for businesses and consumers -- IF Microsoft doesn't get distracted so it puts out products like Vista, which has made a lot of users unhappy."
Slate contributor Henry Blodget thinks that the deal was botched over more than just price disagreements, writing on Silicon Alley Insider: "The only chance a deal like this would have of working would be if both companies were completely committed to making it work. And it's hard to see how Steve ever would have gotten that level of enthusiasm from Yahoo--when Jerry, David, and the board have spent every waking minute for the past three months doing everything they could think of to avoid a fate they apparently considered worse than death: a Microsoft takeover."
What's the next step for Microsoft? Possibly investigating a buyout of Facebook, MySpace, or AOL, the last of which Valleywag's Nicholas Carlson thinks would be ill-considered: "(What, are they pulling for a Nsync reunion tour as well?) … But there's a reason AOL is cheap, people. Compete reports visits to AOL are down 21 percent in the last year. It's 'people count' dropped from 74 million to 60 million in the same time. Face it: AOL remains popular because old people in middle America are too lazy to change their default home page."
As for Yahoo's execs, Kara Swisher writes on BoomTown that "I have to say that your stock drop isn't the worst thing you will have to deal with this morning when you pull up at work. The worst? That'll be the very hairy eyeballs you will be getting from a lot more of your employees, who are scared silly and a lot peeved by the limb many feel you have dragged them and their stock options out onto."
Indeed, though Yahoo's stock sank, it wasn't by as much as many had predicted, leading TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld to explain that "if the shares don't drop much further, that could mean Wall Street is still pricing in another takeover attempt from Microsoft or someone else, or perhaps a Google advertising deal."
Derby downer: After Big Brown ran to victory in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, second-place horse Eight Belles (which Hillary Clinton picked to win) collapsed, having broken her two front ankles, and was euthanized. Bloggers argue over whether Thoroughbred racing constitutes animal cruelty and, sigh, hash out the political parallels.
Wayne Pacelle at A Humane Nation,the Humane Society's blog, argues that whatever outrage Eight Belles' death evokes, it will be all too brief: "We'll say a few words about horse racing, as do the commentators and industry press, but we'll return to our priorities in a couple of days. But that's a mistake for us all. This industry has not had a rigorous critic to set it in the straight and narrow, and major problems have grown and festered." Meanwhile, PETA called for the Eight Belles' jockey to be suspended, prompting reader Ken Letizia at the Beefs to complain: "How ridiculous to blame the jockey for this horse's injuries. Why would he deliberately kill his own bread and butter, his lively-hood ?... This is a sport, whether you agree with it or not, it is just that."