Google’s Plain Whine, Microsoft’s Ho-Hum Press Release, Yahoo!’s Funky Yodel

The story so far: Yahoo! is in a rut, Microsoft wants to buy it for $44.6 billion, and Google is worried that the Internet’s “openness and innovation” may cease to exist if the two make a deal. Scary times.

Update (08/13/09): Yahoo! and Microsoft have agreed to join forces in search.

Update (05/04/08): Microsoft gives up on its bid. Here’s a good coverage and a timeline of the whole thing.

Update (02/09/08): Yahoo! seems to have rejected Microsoft’s offer. Ars Technica has more for those who aren’t subscribed to the Wall Street Journal.

But I’m not here to look at the deep ramifications of quite possibly the most influential tech story we’ve ever had—even if we haven’t stopped to catch our breath since the last ones. I’m going to look at how Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! announced their latest thoughts. It’s pretty revealing:

Google Blog

Google: through the Official Google Blog. Together with its many other official blogs, it’s as plain and straightforward as its search engine. Unlike a typical blog, though, comments and trackbacks are disabled, which is understandable since Google is just plain huge. What I don’t understand is why Google is butting in right now. At least how the company expresses its opinion feels more appropriate in a blog than in a press release. Which brings me to…

Microsoft Press Release

Microsoft: through the PressPass. Tried Googling for Microsoft’s official blog but it’s not in the first page—does it even exist? More importantly, their press release is overflowing with incomprehensible and unnecessary legalese. Come on! Microsoft has very interesting technologies but how do you expect people to cozy up to you or you-plus-Yahoo! with roadblocks like these?

Yahoo! Blog

Yahoo!: through Yodel Anecdotal. Google may seem to be the most innovative and successful right now, but Yahoo!’s blog, like its other websites, captures the imagination. It’s very cheerfully designed. It shows its products (Flickr,, MyBlogLog) in action. And best of all, everyone can comment! It is that spirit I want to see Yahoo! have more of, even though we’ve seen it from the start (because why name a company “yahoo” otherwise?). It needs to stay alive.

Truth is, I find Google’s blog post and Microsoft’s PR awkward compared to the way Yahoo! handled this one. Maybe I just want to root for the underdog. I’m tired of all the dizzying billion-dollar figures and all the corporate clutter. Yodel Anecdotal is a change of scenery. And yet it’s in dire need of one, too.

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