Okay, so as Steve Jobs said best when asked about his thoughts about MSFT. He said that MSFT has no original thoughts and can not innovate to save its life, but they are like Japanese, they may fail, but they never give up and they just keep going at it until they get it (not exact quote, but something like it). So Lets look at MSFT on search and mobile and tablets ... yes, they are just going at it until they try to get it right. So in that sense, Balmer is carrying on Gates' tradition. MSFT is just a boring company, they will get it done to compete, but nothing exciting. MSFT's problem is Apple and Google. Now Jobs is gone, Apple is no longer a threat, but bad news is that Google is becoming a HUGE threat. Google guys are not just smart, they are really really smart. They are also very creative ... the verdict is still out if they can be Steve Jobs-ish later on. Balmer pulled a d$%# move on Yang and Filo, back in 2007 ... what kind of a jackass is Balmer to refuse to see Yang and Filo after they traveled to MSFT headquarter to discuss purchase price? And then make a huge public outcry about how Yang and Filo did not care about share holder value? That tells you that this jackass is not a technology comrade... rather he was an all BUSINESS JACKASS. Not even Steve Jobs would have done that type of #$%$ to anyone who he disliked, and we know stories about Steve Jobs. But recent MSFT progress, signing on with Nokia and developed Windows 8 to be ONE platform for all computing devices is the best thing that Balmer has done for MSFT uptodate. So it looks like MSFT may just have a fighting chance to get some real marketshare in mobile computing. However, Marisa will start to cozy up to the Google guys and make more synergy with Google ... that mean, yes, Yahoo may once again use Google to power its search engine. Meanwhile, MSFT should have bought Yahoo back then, Asian assets along would have paid for themselves. Yahoo has a very specific media role in the internet space and it will keep on executing its business strategy... whoever wants to dominate, must own Yahoo .. NOW!
Ballmer STILL came out ahead by not buying Yahoo BY FAR!!! Yahoo Japan was around $8B in 08' and has finally gotten back to that plateau in the last month. Alibaba Group would have gone back to Jack Ma, YEARS AGO, per the right of first refusal but no matter for the water over the bridge discussion. The offer was $47B and so far we have $8B(YJ)+7.1B(AG)=$15B or $10B or so after-tax. That brings us to $37B in value. If the next chunk is sold at $60B that would be another $4B after-tax roughly. Now we're down to $33B. One last stake sold at say $150B, $15B cash so $10B after-tax. Now we're at $23B! In 08', Yahoo argued for MORE money on the premise of $10B+ in revenue by 2011 if you check out those Investor Day slides. Yahoo then was #2 in search at 20% and #1 in Display ads with a 2:1 of their nearest competitor with revenue of $6.5B. NOW: Yahoo is 3rd in search behind even Bing which it was smoking 20 to 5-6%, Display ads its fallen from #1 to a distant 3rd behind FB and Google while revenues are down 30% to 5B, with negligible growth in the past 2yrs. Their biggest moneymaker isn't search or display ads but INVESTMENTS where they got $650M last year, and the only thing growing. MSFT has lost, IDK, $5B-$6B in the last 5yrs but that pales in overpaying by $15B and that is spotting the core a generous $8B valuation! You're ranting and raving about MSFT blowing its chance, and while you say Yahoo is "executing", what I have no idea, you want it sold? That's funny but if they were executing then no point wanting it sold. I don't call it executing if you're forecasting down for the year IMHO.
For all of those that disagrees. Yahoo is the ONLY real solid worldwide media portal on the internet. Ever think about why the Google guys never even try to sue Mayer when she took employees from Google? Does that ring a bell? Why Dan Loeb would allow to hire someone like Mayer, who really has no turn around experience? Ever ask those obvious questions? Google can not outright buy Yahoo, because that would make an antitrust issue. So what it could do is to infiltrate the Company with its own employees and then start to build relationships. Is that good for Yahoo share holders? Of course, it is. Great for Yahoo share holders, but horrible for MSFT. MSFT is doing the similar thing with Nokia... it is the new business strategy. In the end, you will see a great synergy between Google and Yahoo, which Apple and MSFT should fear very very much.