Funny how what wasn't a good idea under a previous leader is now a good idea under their replacement.
Wall Street thinks it's still a bad idea.
According to Mr. Balmer in this review
Nobody gets it. It's a little bit complicated.
If Wall Street doesn't get it, then it's not complicated, it's probably just a mistake on someone's part....but which parties?
Yahoo, in theory loses some revenue up front and in fact gets ZERO money upfront, in exchange for Microsoft to make Bing (Because It's Note Good?) the underlying search engine and supposedly improve on what the Yahoo team has not been able to do, namely beat Google in the search and ad game. And then Yahoo gets 88% of the ad revenue. While I expect some money to be made, they of course would have made more being sold to MS last year.
Microsoft gets to have Bing go beyond beta testing and start handling real world searches. Maybe MS will gain from this, but if my experience with Bing is anything to go by, this will kill Yahoo, which may be what MS wants anyway in the end. Balmer's got no qualms about keeping his enemies closer.
In the mean time IBM is NOT in the search engine game, for better or worse, and is succeeding at gaining exposure on the consumer side of their applications which we haven't seen in years.
Maybe, just maybe, Microsoft is focused on the wrong balls right now.