Ballmer says it's not worth it. Ballmer says he wouldn't write a check for 1.7 billion just to outbid Larry and Sergey. Ballmer says Windows Live is bigger than Windows Vista. Ballmer is betting on SoapBox. Don't think that CEO Chad Hurley excluded Microsoft from the potential bidder's list for YouTube. It's not the case. Ballmer was just not interested. As he wasn't interested in social networking. SoapBox? Yes, it's a limited Beta, invitation only. It's gonna stay limited. All the eyeballs are on YouTube, Steve!
Unplug SoapBox Steve! Larry and Sergey did it. The acquisition of YouTube just deepened Google's Video traffic eclipse.
But no. Ballmer is a builder. From the grounds up. Presenting Wallop. Introducing Windows Live Spaces. Ballmer wanted Microsoft to deliver the advertising infrastructure for MySpace. Ballmer bid more than pocket change for the MySpace deal. But Larry and Sergey outbid him with $900 million. And this was a million for million face-off. Larry and Sergey didn't just outbid Steve, Steve stepped back, he let them outbid him, the stakes were just too high. Windows Live Spaces is his bigger than Vista consolation. He's building a MySpace of his own. With little success so far. With a mediocre performance.
Google's own social networking didn't get off the ground so Larry and Sergey moved to MySpace. They looked at the price tag, the upped the stakes a little. Ballmer went to play with Windows Live and they won.
Now YouTube. Ballmer doesn't want YouTube. And he didn't want it when Chad was first trying to sell it, hot and cheaper then 1.65. Bill didn't want it either. They are building SoapBox. Ballmer says YouTube is a fashion. Ballmer says there's no business plan. Ballmer says the content is pirated. Ballmer can't build on an existent foundation. Ballmer would build the servers powering SoapBox if you'd let him.
Meanwhile, Larry and Sergey are sitting on top of a $1.65 billion pile of pirated material. But they have already signed advertising agreements with Sony BMG Music Entertainment. NBC is already in, Warner Music is in, Universal and Time Warner will fall into place. Others will follow. There are just too many dollar signs associated with the YouTube advertising to resist. That pirated content doesn't look so pirated any more. It looks damn near licensed. Larry and Sergey didn't buy only the YouTube technology, but also one of the top growing brands worldwide and an incommensurable community of eyeballs. 29 percent of the U.S. multimedia entertainment market and 100.000 videos served daily, 12.8 million visitors in just one week and a 75% weekly growth in July. This means that just thee months ago YouTube was doubling its traffic volume every 10 DAYS!!!
I would have paid 1.7 Steve.