Analysts agree that Microsoft's bold $44.6-billion bid for Yahoo marks the start of a big push by Microsoft to challenge Google's Web dominance. The move is a dramatic change in tactics for Microsoft, which likes to build new businesses on its own, writes Steve Lohr in a New York Times analysis, and an admission of failure. "This just shows how worried Microsoft is by Google," an expert tells Lohr.
A merger could help Microsoft build a big enough presence online to compete head-on with Google for advertising, but the real MicroYahoo-Google showdown may not even happen over search, writes Chris Wilson in Slate. Yahoo is stronger as a portal than as a search engine, and as people start to do more tasks such as word processing and photo-album-building online, a 'Yacrosoft' colossus could be ideally placed to leap ahead of Google.