Do You Yahoo! ?

I commented recently that it was game over for Microsoft, certainly in terms of taking on Google at their own game, after the latter's purchase of Doubleclick.

But maybe my comments were premature as reports circulate that Microsoft may be pursuing Yahoo!.

Thinking of how I use a computer, I spend the best part of my life using Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft products, so there is some sense to this. Presumably it would help Microsoft with their somewhat confused 'Live' strategy as well as bolstering MSN (why Microsoft separate these divisions is beyond me).

But what about video ? Well, Yahoo are surprising laggards in that respect. Part of this can be traced back to their ridiculous purchase of a decade or so ago for absolutely silly money. Yahoo! Video is basically a search portal at the moment, whilst MSN has a more broadcast feel thanks to the MSNBC pedigree.

But I suspect that what Microsoft really want is Panama, the recently unveiled Yahoo! advertising system. I haven't had a chance to try this out yet, but aim to have a look soon. It has a long pedigree, based on Goto and Overture, but previous versions have been, in my experience, unusable.

Meanwhile, Microsoft are eyeing what might be an even bigger market with the purchase of French firm, ScreenTonic, who specialise in mobile advertising.