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8 Google wins

yahooLots of stories in the news today about the proposed Yahsoft/Microhoo takeover and even some folks pondering if Google is now in real big trouble. My guess is the folks at Google are cheering today. My take is that Microsoft is admitting defeat by trying to buy there way out of it. Yahoo! has been scuffling of late and has never been a better deal, but is putting two companies together that can’t really figure out how to compete with Google going to make one company that can?

Why do companies continue to believe that If you put two dogs together you get a pony? ~ Jon Fine, Business Week media columnist

My fear is that Yahoo! will fight this (heck, Google may help them) and the bid may go up if someone like AT&T jumps in, but no way this deal gets done in under a year. That will likely mean that Yahoo and Microsoft both drift while trying to put this together and Google’s position in both of their businesses gets stronger. I’m not even factoring in the massive amount of effort it would take to actually merge these companies. I’m really surprised how few people in the media took this position.

Now, having said all that, I don’t know if a stronger Google is really a good thing, but I think this move by Microsoft may actually benefit Google more in the long run.

2 The Microsoft Small Business Summit

Mark your calendar. Entering its third year, the Microsoft Small Business Summit, a nationwide, online event that runs for four days is coming. This year it runs from March 24 through March 27. Summit registrants can participate online from home or office.

I have been asked to kick the summit off with a session on small business marketing so I hope that lots of Duct Tape Marketing readers will be joining me live online on March 24th at 9am PDT!

MS Small business summit

The summit offers advice from entrepreneurial peers and small business experts on topics ranging from sales, marketing, productivity, mobility, security, financial management and startups.

Over the four days, a variety of panelists will speak, including Cheryl Broussard, financial advisor and author of Sister CEO; Duct Tape Marketing’s John Jantsch; Louis Barajas, author of Latino Journey to Financial Greatness and Small Business, Big Life.

The summit is free and registration is open now. Make sure to register even if you can’t make the live events as you will get access to the archived recordings months after the event.

1 Microsoft Small Business Initiatives

Microsoft Ad CenterI had the pleasure of sitting down with Cynthia Bates, General Manager of U.S. Small Business for Microsoft at the recently completed World Partner Conference in Denver.

When you meet face to face with the real folks trapped inside a mega brand like Microsoft, you come to appreciate how hard these companies really are working to provide success tools for small businesses. I don’t know that they always get it right, but when I meet people,. like Cindy Bates, who genuinely seem to care about small business I take note.

    Here are a couple pretty useful things Microsoft is doing for small business

  • Microsoft Small Business Center – growing collection of resources including over 50 webinars from folks like Rieva Lesonsky, editor of Entrepreneur and Guy Kawasaki, author of Art of the Start. These are archived from the Small Business Summit program initiated last March. I’m told plans are under way for a repeat performance. You can also find small business IT specialists and technology events by zip code.
  • Microsoft Start-up Center – Great interactive content for start-ups. Features my buddies the Sloan Brothers of StartUpNation.

Much of the product coming under the heading of Office Live is focused on small business. In fact, they tell me the real focus is businesses with less than 50 employees. Smart move. I also met with some of the Office Live team and will have some coverage around that and AdCenter in future posts.