Microsoft may buy Yahoo = a good idea.

Wow, I’m liking my Yahoo stock which just jumped over $5 per share,but Microsoft couldn’t you have announced the possible bid to buy Yahoo about a month back when I had my 2000 YHOO 30 calls? With Yahoo at $33.34 I could have sold that 1000 investment for a cool $67,000!

WSJ Story (paywall)

NY Post Story

Henry Blodget thinks it’s important to spin off a new company rather than just suck Yahoo up into the borgness of Microsoft.

But hey, I do think this aquisition/merger is a good idea. Yahoo is very different from Microsoft. However, to the limited extent I interact with MS and Yahoo it seems to me that both of those corporate cultures have become bureaucratic, sluggish, and uninspired when compared to Google’s freewheeling yet very productive approaches. Yet very importantly, the people I meet from Yahoo and MS are often as impressive as those at Google, and certainly capable of great things as all these folks reinvent the online world on a regular basis.

If Microsoft can pool the innovations of the LIVE project with Yahoo’s superb developer support programs, and hire and inspire more people to have the evangelical zeal of Googlers, it could be a whole new online ballgame.

Update:  Om Malik’s reporting that WSJ’s reporting the talks appear to be off already.

Google to Viacom: See YouTube in Court!

Viacom’s Google suit may actually go to trial, though I think everybody is just blowing smoke right now with Viacom looking for a nice payoff and Google looking to minimize the payoff to keep within the 400 million they allocated in the YouTube sale to copyright infringement payoffs.

Unless Google is lucky enough to get a silicon valley jury with an average age of 25 it seems to me they’d handily lose a lawsuit.   The notion that Google (let alone everybody with a PC and internet connection), didn’t realize YouTube contained vast amounts of copyrighted material and that Google didn’t have the technical capabilities to screen for copyrights is absurd.    I presume they’d make the fairly technical case that they can’t be held responsible for users uploading stuff, only for taking it down when they get complaints, but I think this (reasonable in the future) notion will wear thin under the weight of current (old fashioned) copyright rules.

Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt “…out of the conversation comes innovation”

Time has an insightful visit with Dr. Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO and a pleasant fellow as well based on my brief chat with him last year. I like his point that it’s a great strategy to ask lot of questions, get a conversation going, and from that conversation harvest innovation. You can really see the power of this when talking to the remarkable folks who work at Google. I’m always impressed by how open they are to criticism and new ideas, and how clearly they see that it’s best to keep the conversation going and the pathways open because the future….could find us all almost anywhere.