Things have been different ever since Marissa Mayer (former Googler) took over as CEO at Yahoo! last year. I think it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to that company. I’ve always found myself wanting to root for the underdogs in the race for search dominance, but Google has long since declared itself the winner of that battle.
However, it seems that Marissa Mayer knows that search isn’t exactly Yahoo!’s thing, at least not yet. In case you’ve been living under a rock the last couple of weeks, you’ve heard that Yahoo! just acquired Tumblr, the blogging website. Less than 24 hours after announcing that acquisition, Yahoo! also announced that every Flickr user would get an entire terabyte of storage for all of their photos. Oh, did I mention that they’re giving it away for free? Yeah, it’s free; talk about awesome.
Buying companies and making cooler products isn’t all Mayer has been up to, either. She’s also been working hard to solve the company cultures issues that have been plaguing Yahoo! for years. Employees are now required to work from the office; telecommuting is no longer an option. Everyone on the web heard the moans and groans of the ones affected by this change, but that’s what happens when you try to change the way things get done. Even though Mayer had an easy pregnancy and was back to work within five days of having a child, she upped the amount of maternity/paternity leave her employees get. Substantially.
This is the first time in a long time I’ve been excited to see what Yahoo! does next. Hey, I might even be tempted to start using Yahoo! search next time I’m doing a bit of research. I wonder how Google feels about their former employee turning their competition into a real thing again.
While the ‘Bing It On‘ challenge is admirable, showing that their results are “As good as, or maybe better than,” Google’s results is not only a day late, but also a dollar short. Nobody cares for the mediocre, and why switch something like your primary search engine if you’re not getting anything new from it?
Search isn’t the only thing about Microsoft I don’t care for. The XBOX One was just announced yesterday, and I couldn’t care less about it. The console won’t play games from the 360 console, and I don’t watch enough TV or sports to care about the deal they struck with a cable company. I may eventually buy one, but only if the PS4 proves to be a bust.
This seems to be how I feel about everything that Microsoft is doing right now. I walked into a Windows store the other day, only to find that it was a sad ripoff of the Apple store. Once again, set your sights high, Microsoft. People are bound to stop buying those simple to use iPhones and iPads once they see that Windows 8 devices come in packaging and from a store that is “as good as,” Apple. Just kidding, Microsoft. Nobody cares that you are copycats, and I’m sure your sales will show it.