Rumors about Microsoft buying Yahoo have been around for years and now they’ve made a bid. My thoughts immediately went to my beloved Flickr. What would happen to it? Would Microsoft ruin it like they so often do? Dr_lopbot imagines it might look like this…
Good grief, that’s exactly the logo they WOULD design. Fortunately there is already a Flickr Group warning the boys in Redmond to stay away from Flickr. This outrage is similar to Bill Gates appearing at Macworld Boston in 1997 to announce an investment in Apple. Those were dark days my friend, dark days.
There was similar outrage when Yahoo bought Flickr from Canada’s Ludicorp, a Vancouver based company in 2005. Fears of interference were overblown and Yahoo did not ruin Flickr, although complaints about censorship do crop up.
This takeover is far from a done deal, and if if goes through maybe Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will leave Flickr be. But I just don’t trust a guy that does this all the time.
Why do so many people dislike Microsoft? Because they’re just not cool, not anymore. And when a company loses the “cool” they try to buy it (ie: Facebook). And everybody knows you can’t buy cool. This years CES and Macworld illustrated this point clearly. Microsoft was busy talking about things that might, one day, many years from now be available to consumers. Mr. Softie so often over-promises and under-delivers. Steve Jobs over at Apple announced products that were available either now, or in a few weeks. That’s cool.
Users of cool web sites don’t want companies who aren’t cool messing things up. Google (cool) knew enough to leave YouTube alone. Yahoo! did a good job with Flickr. The jury is still out on whether Microsoft will screw up Facebook with their investment, but it was a rocky start (think: their new ad platform Beacon). So it’s no surprise Flickr users are concerned. Whether the concerns are valid remains to be seen.