Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi Speaks: "Yahoo Has a Fantastic Opportunity"

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BoomTown visited Microsoft HQ in Redmond, Wash., last week, right after the online advertising and search deal with Yahoo was struck.

While there, I interviewed a passel of Microsoft (MSFT) execs, including Online Audience Business SVP Yusuf Mehdi, who has been a key player in the many–and mostly disastrous–attempts that the software giant has made to form some sort of alliance with Yahoo (YHOO) over the years.

It finally stuck for Mehdi, who has been with Microsoft for closing in on two decades (although he still kind of looks like a teenager).

In this video interview with me, he talks about the deal, defending it as a “win-win”–what else is he going to say?–for both companies.

While Wall Street threw raspberries at the Silicon Valley icon for giving away its search technology business without an adequate payoff, Microsoft got kudos for grabbing a large piece of share that it could use in its ongoing battle with archrival Google (GOOG).

And that much is true–now, it is execs like Mehdi who are charged with using the new purchase to try to unseat Google’s dominance in search, which is a little bit of a harder job than doing a Yahoo deal.

Here’s the video:


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work