Microsoft and Yahoo! prospecting

Microsoft and Yahoo! are moving from dead point thanks to Microsoft meeting with Yahoo execs to share their views on how the combined companies would look.

Meanwhile, the financial analyst community is debating everything from whether Microsoft will raise its bid to whether Yahoo is a good use of Microsoft's cash. Many speculate an all cash offer is Microsoft's next move. With News Corp and AOL out of the picture, it looks more likely that some kind of deal will be struck with Yahoo shareholders and board members.

Microsoft has the beginnings of remaking itself into the next generation software company through Ray Ozzie's mesh software and device vision that's gradually unfolding. But technology is only one part, maybe even the smaller part, to make this transformation successful.

Microsoft badly needs Internet operational experience to become a good Internet company. Microsoft's never really gotten it about the Internet, not at least in the same way as Google and Yahoo. To take on Google, Microsoft not only needs the valuable online software, search engine and advertising assets, Microsoft needs Yahoo's Internet mindset.

Yahoo brings the mentality, thinking and beliefs about being an Internet company. Microsoft doesn't need any more people that already think like Microsoft. They need the Internet mindset Yahoo leaders and employees can bring.

Thus Microsoft can’t do without Yahoo, as it could give Microsoft additional talent and a fresh perspective on living and competing as an Internet company.