Hang in There, Yahoo

Gartner believes that Microsoft is buying Yahoo because Vista has been such a colossal disappointment. It will certainly be a sad day for the Web if Microsoft succeeds with its offer. For all of its faults, Yahoo created a reason for many of us to use the Web; it elevated the browser to a new form of OS. Yahoo has also been a powerful proponent of open source software, another major trend which runs counter to Microsoft's interests. But the primary reason why Microsoft's offer is unfortunate is the impact that it will have on startups. As others have pointed out, with Yahoo's demise, there will be one less acquirer of young companies. Many might snipe that when it comes to M&A, Yahoo has been its worst enemy. Still, Yahoo has been an important player in the startup universe for a long time. Perhaps News Corp. will become more active in acquiring young companies; it certainly seems to realize that the Web is an important platform for the distribution and consumption of content. However, it will take more than News Corp. to fill the void that Yahoo will leave.