Memo to Carl: MicroHooGooCahnFace
Will Microsoft really fork over more than $15 billion to buy Facebook?
Or will it come back to the fractured table with Yahoo to buy parts of it or perhaps partner with it?
And Yahoo (YHOO), oh woefully punch-drunk Yahoo–must it make a deal with Microsoft (MSFT), try to get Google (GOOG) to pony up something good or face the wrath of Khan (we mean Carl Icahn, of course, but we like a good pun!)?
Will Facebook retain its much-boasted-of independence and IPO like Google, which it is also warring with over data portability?
And will Google keep thwarting Microsoft’s Yahoo overtures for Overture or will it finally decide to ignore everyone and just keep grabbing market share without much effort?
Lastly, does Icahn, that pixie-ish billionaire investor now attacking Yahoo, yet get that Silicon Valley has become a geek version of the McCoys and the Hatfields, except that hillbilly feud was much, much easier to comprehend?
So, for Carl, who BoomTown feels needs some guidance badly, here are some purely speculative predictions:
1. As reported in this column first, Microsoft has recently made some serious efforts to buy Facebook and those travails are not likely to be over.
Point of fact: Even though the software giant preferred to buy the hot social-networking site, it invested $240 million for a minuscule stake, so you get the desperation level here, don’t you?
BoomTown thinks this deal is quite possible and sooner than later, if it happens.
Why, Carl? Because a lot of folks at Facebook tell me they worry that it will take a very long time to get to an IPO (think 2010, not 2009), given the company has to prove its business model and will not for a while.
And Facebook top execs have recently visited with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, but let’s not read anything into that yet, except to say that they are very friendly.
Plus Facebook just faced off with Google over data portability, which Google-hater-in-chief Microsoft doubtlessly loved.
But, as usual, CEO and Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg, now in Japan on his work/play “Vision Quest” tour of the world pushed aside such ideas.
As quoted by Reuters, while in Tokyo to launch a Japanese version of Facebook, Zuckerberg said:
“You can tell, from our history and what we’ve done, that we really wanted to keep the company independent, by focusing on building and focusing on the long-term.”
In other words, Microsoft-sale-friendly Facebookers: No private planes to France yet!
2. Microsoft and Yahoo will, of course, continue their talks, even after the collapse of their takeover debacle.
First, Yahoo has no choice but to look open, until it can either sign the Google ad outsourcing deal or figure something else out, so it can counter investor anger.
And Microsoft can’t hardly walk away from Yahoo, unless it has another game-changer (Facebook?) in mind to get some traction in the online space.
3. Ah, Google. More lucrative search market share than ever, according to the most recent reports from Hitwise.
So why does it need to be involved in this mess and would it be better for it just to chug along as others struggle?
Probably and probably what it will end up doing, until it inevitably faces its own undoing at some point down the line.
And that would be? BoomTown guess: Google will eventually probably shoot itself by accident, as it gets too big and too powerful–much like what has happened at Microsoft–to sufficiently innovate anymore.
Because like the Hatfields and the McCoys, it might all be fun and games now, but sooner or later someone’s going to lose an eye.
My advice, Carl, so you don’t end up looking like John Wayne in “True Grit”?
Come armed. And duck. Early and often.
Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.