What happens if Microsoft buys Yahoo?

by Doc Searls

One's head spins thinking about Microsoft's unsolicited bid of $44.6 billion for Yahoo.

Yahoo has been a major figure in the open source world for a long time. It sponsors events, participates in countless development projects, and encourages its own engineers to do open source work. And, of course, it uses countless open source code bases as well.

Now comes Steve Ballmer, who says in a statement, "We have great respect for Yahoo, and together we can offer an increasingly exciting set of solutions for consumers, publishers and advertisers while becoming better positioned to compete in the online services market", and "We believe our combination will deliver superior value to our respective shareholders and better choice and innovation to our customers and industry partners".

Corporate blather, of course. The NY Times story behind that first link plays the whole thing as vendor sports: Microsoft + Yahoo vs. Google. But there's far more in play than advertising budgets and shareholder value. Tweets Paul Downey, "Bad news for numerous Open Source projects: YUI, PHP, FreeBSD, Squid, gSOAP, Hadoop, etc. They'll survive, but my moral compass is spinning".

I have thoughts along the same lines, but I'd rather hear yours first, and respond down in the comments section.

So what do you think? What will happen if Microsoft buys Yahoo?

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