There is a very thought-provoking article on the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal today, written by Michael Malone (those who have WSJ.com access can read the commentary here). Essentially, he compares the MS bid for Yahoo to the HP/Compaq deal, and paints MS as an “als0-been” who has not been successful in any other endeavor apart from the OS and Office product lines. As he states in the article, “most everything else is a flash”.
He then goes on to discuss the troubles that Microsoft and Google both face today, as they both head for (or are already in the midst of) their mid-life crisis. He brings out some very interesting thoughts, and attributes the mostly unexpected success of the HP/Compaq deal more to Dell falling on its face than any inherent positive momentum created by the new HP – which should be a warning to Google if this merger goes through.
Overall, I tend to agree with his points. Google needs to view this as a wake-up call, and get back to its innovative roots. They need to stop trying to branch out into so many wacky frontiers (like their energy initiative – what is that about?) and re-focus on being the high-tech innovative company they are. As Michael puts it “Google…stop fooling around and get back to business”.
It is a very good read.