For the launch of Windows Live Wave 2 late last year, Microsoft together with the non-profit organization “Operation Smile” hosted an event in New York with a dazzling art installation featuring a 60-feet wide white sphere. On this sphere, they projected a dynamically-generated visualization of smiling faces with thousands of smaller pictures. The end result if nothing of a sheer visual spectacle. And because everything was rendered in real-time, attendees at the event could even upload their own face pictures into the pool of faces although I’m sure it’ll be one hell of a “Where’s Waldo” to find.
Everyone on the sideline seems to be very excited about possible Yahoo and Microsoft merger, but I’m not so sure it’s going to turn out pretty. Microsoft has a history of making acquisitions, and few comes to mind of anywhere close to a success. The recent exception being Bungie, and only because Microsoft left them alone.
For example, in 1997 Microsoft acquired Vxtreme Inc for their web theater technology with $75 million. What web theater?
With the help of Josh Philips from WindowsConnected.com we’ve compiled a list of existing Yahoo services and matched it with existing Microsoft offerings. It’s an astounding number of overlaps. Of course there’s many more services from Microsoft without Yahoo equivalents (ex. Office Live).
Now imagine for each and every one of these you have to make a decision – to keep it as is, integrate Yahoo’s into Microsoft’s, integrate Microsoft’s into Yahoo’s or even come up with a new hybrid. Simple branding aside, I think the developers are going to have to work quite a few late nights to integrate what I believe are two monolithic systems together.