Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Yahoo CEO Bartz's Happy Talk About Microsoft's Bing–As a Deal Nears, Goodbye to the Zings (Well, for Now!)

happy-talkjpg

And there it was in Yahoo’s second-quarter earnings call yesterday, when–as the first question–an analyst asked Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz what she thought about Bing, the new and innovative search offering from Microsoft.

“I think actually Bing is a good product,” said Bartz. “I think they’ve done a good job. I think Microsoft should be given kudos for Bing.”

It was a politic thing to say, to be sure, especially with Microsoft (MSFT) and Yahoo (YHOO) still zeroing in on a search and online advertising deal, as has been previously reported by BoomTown.

Sources I have spoken to over the past two days say the deal is still on good footing and could be struck very soon, even as early as tomorrow, although it is still not a certainty–especially given the bumpy history between Yahoo and Microsoft.

Thus, it behooves Bartz not to let loose with one of her patented zingers–and you just know she has several at the ready, in case the deal goes south–right now when the pair of companies that I have described as the Internet’s version of the Lindsay Lohan-Samantha Ronson drama might finally agree to join together in a partnership.

That’s why Bartz did not say, “I personally think we would be better off if we never heard the word ‘Microsoft,’” as she did at an investor conference in June, when asked about a possible search and online advertising deal.

And why she did not say, as she did on Fox Business Network around the same time, about the early kudos for Bing: “One day is one day…it does not a trend make.”

img_0004

And why Bartz did not say, as she scribbled on a jokey-but-pokey Post-It note to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (see photo) that she left in the Green Room of the seventh D: All Things Digital conference:

“Steve,
forget it
won’t help
ha
Carol”

Nope, now is the time for some judicious happy talk from Bartz, who appears to have a lot more self-control than I have ever given her credit for.

She’ll need it, for sure, if she does actually pull off a deal with Microsoft–because that is when the real fireworks will begin between the Silicon Valley Internet giant and the Redmond, Wash., tech behemoth.

Well, I can dream, can’t I?

Or, as the perfect song, “Happy Talk,” from the classic musical, “South Pacific,” goes: “You got to have a dream/If you don’t have a dream/How you gonna have a dream come true?”

And, for those who have missed it (you cretins!), here it is in all its glory, in a video from the lovely movie version:


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald