Reservoir Hill writes "Randall Stross has an insightful article in the NY Times that says that if Microsoft thinks this is the right time to try a major acquisition on a scale it has never tried before, it should pursue not Yahoo but SAP, another major player in business software, thus merging Microsoft's strength with that of another. This is more likely to produce a happy outcome than yoking two ailing businesses, Yahoo's and Microsoft's own online offerings, and hoping for a miracle. Stross points to Oracle as a company whose acquisition strategy has picked up key products and customers while avoiding venturing too far from its core business, or overpaying. Stross recommends that Microsoft acquire SAP and leave it alone as an autonomous division — which would avoid a culture-clash integration fiasco. Besides, large enterprise customers are arguably the best customers a software company can have. A few dozen well-paying Fortune 500 customers may actually be more valuable than tens of millions of Web e-mail 'customers' who pay nothing for the service and whose attention is not highly valued by online advertisers."
In practice, failures in system development, like unemployment in Russia,
happens a lot despite official propaganda to the contrary.
-- Paul Licker