Microsoft and Yahoo sealed a 10-year search deal this morning that just might have a fighting chance against Google. Microsoft’s new Bing will provide the backend search technology on Yahoo’s top sites. Yahoo will also lend licenses to some of their search technologies and get a whopping 88 percent of the generated ad revenue during the first five years of the deal, according to The New York Times.
The news has the tech blogs buzzing. Here’s what the top pundits are saying about the tag-team against Google:
“Today, with their Microsoft deal, Yahoo again undervalues their search asset. Again, they will be “Powered by…” and again they will destroy their brand and its value. All that being said, Microsoft’s obsession with taking Yahoo’s second place position and adding it to their 3rd place position is not an indication that it’s time to sell. Far from it. When Microsoft is interested in a space it is a clear sign that you should be investing in it–not selling it.” – Mahalo.com’s Jason Calacanis
Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz “is essentially giving up on search,” and, despite the 88 percent ad revenue deal, Microsoft has the most valuable reward in the long run. “If Microsoft is running the underlying ad technology, it doesn’t matter who is selling the ads. In the end, Microsoft will hold all the cards.” – Danny Sullivan, editor of Search Engine Land in BusinessWeek
“Google is a great search engine, but the next wave of search will be more than just finding Web sites. Both Bing and Yahoo try to do that, and the partnership will help them develop the online concierge experience that they offer.” – Shar VanBoskirk, search market analyst at Forrester Research, at CNN
“Because while Microsoft is actually getting something it needs, Yahoo is merely hooking up with the most alpha male company it can still find in order to survive. Microsoft will soon turn Yahoo into its prison bitch, and this won’t be pretty.” – Daily Beast’s Douglas Rushkoff
“Bing is exciting as an effective challenger to Google, but if that competition comes at the cost of cannibalizing Yahoo’s innovative search work – then we won’t be so excited about Bing any more. Maybe the most developer-savvy Yahoo Search team members will go breath more life into the Bing developer community, and maybe they’ll be able to get more traction there. We’ll still shed a little tear for any of our favorite Yahoo projects that get run over in this deal.” – Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb
“Ironically, the deal will likely be positive for Google, which will now likely benefit from months of purgatory as Microsoft and Yahoo work to clear regulatory scrutiny and then go through the massive challenge of trying to integrate their sales forces and technology. Google itself will also now be able to argue persuasively that there is a big, viable (if discombobulated) competitor in the market.” – Business Insider’s Henry Blodget