Ubuntu man says Microsoft's about to 'swallow a hand-grenade'
Shuttleworth pegs Yahoo! as a path to Flail
Interview Well, here I am just a few miles from Yahoo!' headquarters and Microsoft's Silicon Valley residence. It's Sunday, and I've yet to hear screams from either camp. So, it seems that Microsoft's call to action deadline around the Yahoo! buy is passing with a lack of fanfare. Yahoo! may surprise us yet by leaking something to the New York Times or perhaps Steve Ballmer will call up his buds at the Wall Street Journal, but in lieu of such actual movements, I'm left wanting.
And so it seems appropriate to turn back to Mark Shuttleworth, the ultra-rich spaceman funding the Ubuntu operating system project. As our stats logs tell it, you people can't get enough of this dude even though he's suspected of torturing woodland creatures in a Chelsea dungeon. Whatever. Call your local PETA representative. The open source march will not be stopped by some bloodied wombats and pandas.
During a recent interview in London, Shuttleworth had plenty to say about Microhoo.
"The Microsoft and Yahoo thing is fascinating," he told me. "I think the ad game is lost. So, Microsoft buying Yahoo! now on search? Come on. Two failing operators will just continue to decline together. On search, I think it's totally a waste of time."
Well, if the deal is not about selling search ads, then what's going on here?
"Yahoo is basically a conduit to a content creation company, and I think that is a deadly business to be in," Shuttleworth said. "For Microsoft to own more content when content is unprofitable and content generation is unprofitable is risky, I think."
Gee thanks, Mark. The content creation business is actually tremendous. Especially when you readers click on the ads surrounding this story. Can you see them? (Actually, forget the ads. Just send me an e-mail, and I'll direct you to my PayPal account.)
"So, for Microsoft, this deal is all about flailing," Shuttleworth said. "For them to succeed in that next generation game, they will need to have a vision that is better than Yahoo!'s vision, which is better than Google's vision, and they need to execute it.
"I think this game will swing from the desktop to the web and eventually back again in really interesting ways. They already have a hell of a big investment in whatever their vision is. It's not like they were waiting to buy Yahoo!. They were spending gagillions of dollars, which they have, on data centers for that sort of vision. So, what does Yahoo give them then? A brand, which they will probably screw up."
Even with all that going for Microsoft, Shuttleworth found time to highlight another troubling area.
"Integration is one problem, but no one is talking about another of Yahoo!'s big issues, which is salaries. Their strategy was basically to hire thousands of people to create content and thousands of them in countries where they are cheap. We see the salaries in those countries going right through the roof. So, I wonder if Microsoft isn't about to swallow a hand-grenade."
Ballmer swallows hand-grenades for breakfast, Mark. That's part of what battling anti-trust regulators for years and years and years is all about. Why do you think he looks that way?
Ah, but there is a plus side to this whole planned acquisition, and that's the open source angle.
No worries; apology happily accepted. I run KDE on my Mepis partition, though with Synaptic, not Adept.
They've hijacked this "community" malarkey just so they can get a bunch of teenagers, cat lovers and wannabe hackers issuing OS tweaks for free. Then, boom, a handful of people get rich off this memepile. "Ubuntu was very clearly a businesses from the beginning. There were investors. They were providing a service. I don't think the folks who worked on the OS have a moral claim against the guys who built that business."
Sorry, but you MO fits the trolls earlier in this thread and most of the others on linux, apple and sony, both here and on other sites. The straw that broke the camels back?
Anyway apologies, I have a KUBUNTU install, that was 7.10 until the weekend just passed. I upgraded it to 8.04 via the adept updater tool, and I still have the options I mentioned under the System Settings option in Kubuntu. Perhaps a chance to step away from Gnome, and try KDE desktop out? voodoo is still listed as one of the supported driver options - I had a brief look - and its a trip down memory lane to see all the still supported manufacturers and cards. Sad to think they've all been squeezed out by the big two ( or three? )