A new CEO at Yahoo has many speculating Microsoft will renew its bid for Yahoo’s Web-search unit, the Wall Street Journal reports. But Microsoft’s quest isn’t a mere attempt to better compete with Google in the $12.3 billion paid-search market; it’s the rectification of years of missed opportunities and the killing of its own inner Google nearly a decade ago.
Microsoft purchased a paid-search company called Keywords in 1998 only to shut it down in 2000. In 2003, Microsoft balked at buying Overture, a search company Yahoo later purchased for $1.8 billion. Microsoft tried to buy Overture back (by buying Yahoo) for $50 billion last year. Now, rather than run “the risk of some things not happening,” CEO Steve Ballmer says, “we’re letting more flowers bloom.”