It's About InfoWare

Posted on June 3, 2008 by Tony Uphoff

Is Microsoft buying Yahoo? Can Yahoo survive without a sale that aligns them with a larger company? Is Microsoft in a death battle with Google for control of web traffic? Is this a fight for eyeballs or actually something else? What is the strategy for "Microhoo" if indeed a deal ultimately goes through? Not that arm wrestling with Ichan isn’t a blast but I’d suggest there is something far more at play here than simply increased traffic.

Google has touched off the era of application based media in earnest. Whether they will ultimately be able to expand beyond their singular powerful application of search as the primary driver of their business remains to be seen. For the near to medium term future it doesn’t matter. They don’t need to. Whether you define Google as a technology company or a media company is irrelevant. What you can’t argue is that they have changed the media business forever. What Google has enabled is true “infoware” the fusion of content, application and software. I can remember Bill Ziff talking about this eventuality back in the late 80’s early 90’s.

Infoware needs an operating system. Microsoft scales their business by defining and owning a standard so they can drive operating systems for everything from PC’s, to Macs, to smart phones to set top devices, home servers, automobile systems and beyond. Microsoft is looking to control the advertising operating system of the web and own the Infoware market. Oh and let’s not be naïve. If you don’t think Microsoft is going to take you into the Cloud you’re not following along. Mesh may not be ready yet but for those that know Microsoft well this is par for the course. They will stick with this and take the fight into the clouds but it won’t be free. So what’s your take? Is this really just a fight over who controls the most eyeballs online? Or is this the next battle in the Infoware wars?

Let me end on a brief personal note. I grew up in LA and have been a lifelong LA sports fan even while living in New York and San Francisco. If you were growing up in LA in the 80’you got caught up in one of the greatest rivalries in sports; The Lakers versus the hated Boston Celtics. So allow me to relive my youth here for a moment and strongly suggest that you catch some of the action in the upcoming NBA finals. These two legendary franchises are back and it should be a great battle. Go Lakers!!,

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