mm341: Boo-hoo Yahoo

MUDGE’s Musings

Stanley Bing of Fortune is one of my favorite guys. His The Bing Blog has been part of the Left-Handed Complement blogroll from the early days.

Today’s post discusses the latest news of the tug-of-war now entering what is probably its final phase: Microsoft’s intention to take over Yahoo.

 

bing

Yahoo thoughts and Microsoft dreams

The Bing Blog | Monday, April 7, 2008 at 1:00 pm

I thought I would begin the week here by taking a moment of silence for all the good folks at Yahoo (YHOO), now under assault by the great and powerful conquistador from Redmond (MSFT).  Today Yahoo management found it necessary to combat comments made by Microsoft top pate Steve Ballmer to the effect that the company was in serious trouble and would probably tank in the very near future without the timely rescue now under consideration. This could be seen by some cynics as a blatant attempt to lower the value of the property Mr. Ballmer and team are looking to acquire, but you won’t find any cynics here. Just sympathetic skeptics who have been there and done that.

Few topics among we who toil in the vineyards we call “IT” are more likely to elicit a curling lip than the subject of the Ogre of Redmond, “Micro$oft.”

I’ll have a few thoughts about that attitude, as well as discouraging words regarding the maiden whose chastity is under attack, Yahoo, after you read Bing’s post.

[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

The Bing Blog Yahoo thoughts and Microsoft dreams «

I don’t love Microsoft, any more than I love Toyota or General Electric or any other giant of business whose products I use and take for granted daily. But I don’t hate them.

In the information profession, Bill Gates and Paul Allen came out of a garage with a sharp (borrowed?) idea or two and an absolutely rapacious business style and mowed down the traditional powers. Have to respect that.

I am not such a bits and bytes artiste (although, there was a time…) that I am affronted by Microsoft’s often derivative, frequently expensive approach to the way my PC works.

If family MUDGE ultimately replaces the Sony desktop PC with which tonight’s screed is written with a Macintosh, that will reflect more the influence of the lovely Mrs. MUDGE, a professional electronic compositor who has happily used Macs at work for most of the past 20 years. Equal time, don’t you know? And it would likely be a new dual-boot system anyway, if I can’t bear to part with Windows.

Then, there’s Yahoo.

In its own way, Yahoo was a pioneer of a new generation of computing: the Internet. Long before there was such a thing as a google, except I think in the field of rarified mathematics, Yahoo was the search engine, later the home page of choice, for millions of new citizens of the web, yr (justifiably) humble svt included.

They were my window to the Internet for many long years. Beginning in 1998 when I made the switch from whatever long gone home page I had used to My Yahoo!, I steadily built a splendid and useful home base for whatever computing, recreational or business related, I was up to.

Had modules with the stock prices of my laughable nanoholdings; had weather reports in several cities I care about; news general and technical, from several sources; a window to my Yahoo Photo site (R.I.P.) that flashed a rotating thumbnail of one of the hundreds of pix in our on-line family album.

A beautiful thing.

One morning, it was gone.

A few, generic bits and pieces to tantalize, but all of the cool stuff built up over years was apparently fried.

Asked for, but received no help (or any response at all) from Yahoo support. Sigh.

So, time to find somewhere new to call home (page). Landed at Google for a while, but, for all of its technological wizardry, they’ve never really figured out, or obviously wanted to figure out, what I had grown to believe classic home page should be. And I didn’t admire their vision of one.

Eventually, Netvibes and Pageflakes came along.

netvibes

pageflakes

Not bad, and in many ways they are definitely improvements over Yahoo or Google. Both have useful features, and now it’s an age of tabbed browsing, so I don’t really have to choose between Netvibes and Pageflakes, and I have both.

Netvibes, my preferred tool with its huge number of tabbed pages, wants me to update to their newest version, but the process seems weirdly intrusive, so I’m not sure they’ll be useful to me much longer. Pageflakes has fewer features, but it’s useful, and when it scrapes my blog’s feed, it picks up the first graphic it finds — very cool.

It’s been close to four years since that morning Yahoo went missing. I’ve never looked back.

So how do I feel about Yahoo now that they’re about to pay the price for developing a model that apparently didn’t care enough about a paying customer (and yes, I was paying $60/year, their going rate at the time for enhanced email) to even acknowledge his polite requests for assistance?

Ballmer, what took you so long? And, be careful not to overpay. Two cents should about cover it.

It’s it for now. Thanks,

–MUDGE

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3 Responses to mm341: Boo-hoo Yahoo

  1. ClapSo says:

    You know Mudge, you’ve hit on one of my pet peeves. CUSTOMER SERVICE HAS BECOME A THING OF THE PAST! I notice this lack of service EVERYWHERE these days.

    case in point:

    Whenever you phone “customer service” anywhere you get those annoying recordings (please press one, please press two…etc. I hate THOSE!

    When after what seems like HOURS of recordings I finally get a real human. I ALWAYS SUGGEST that pressing one at any time should enable a customer to SCREAM BLOODY MURDER AT A SUPERVISOR! That’s where ALL my “customer service” calls end anyway!

    If you think yahoo customer service sucks, try calling micosoft hehehehe:

    please press one…

    The scientifically impossible I do right away
    The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer

  2. mudge says:

    ClapSo, good to hear from you! Welcome back to the ‘Sphere!

    You have it right about Microsoft. More than 10 years ago I was stunned when I called support, and encountered a first: an On-Hold DJ, functioning mainly as a traffic reporter. “Hold times are steady at 42 minutes. Enjoy this tune while you wait…” or something like that.

    I guess that when people pushed back on that, the great outsource scam began.

    Now, you may wait just as long, and for your trouble talk to a patient, if not quite so informed, person in Bengaluru.

    Let’s hear it for the global economy! Ugh! Pfwoah! Sigh!

  3. […] I give up Google, Netvibes, Pageflakes, Yahoo! (well, I did long since, on merit), email (all six personal accounts!) and the rest of […]

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