Now in Paper-Vision: The Microsoft-Yahoo Deal

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This week for Time I wrote a lengthy piece about Microsoft’s attempt to acquire Yahoo. Originally I wrote it as a kind of fictional apocalyptic scenario, as a document recovered from a year in the hypothetical future (via a counterfactual-time-travel widget in development with Google labs) after the deal had gone through, and there was all this extra stuff in it about President Kucinich and a nuclear crisis in American Samoa. Then it dawned on me that it was kinda confusing and not that funny, so I cut all that stuff out and just tried to make two points:

  1. Microsoft and Google are calling each other monopolistic bullies, and guess what, they’re both a tiny bit right
  2. the main lesson of the proposed deal (which I’m choosing will go through, since the chances of serious regulatory objections or a credible alternative suitor for Yahoo are both pretty slim) is that Microsoft is placing a huge bet on online advertising as an engine to drive growth for the company in the coming decade, and they’re probably right, but it’s really unlikely that they’ll execute the way Google is executing

So that’s that. But remember: American Samoa, we’re watching you. This isn’t over.