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Yahoo as aspirin for Microsoft’s “zero dollar” migraine

Posted on the February 9th, 2008

Writing today in The New York Times about Microsoft’s proposed takeover of Yahoo, tech reporter Matt Richtel explains that “zero dollar” is the insider’s phrase for the burgeoning trend of software wants to be free (“Facing Free Software, Microsoft Looks to Yahoo” Feb 9, 2008).

“A growing number of consumers are paying just that — nothing. This is the Internet’s latest phase: people using freely distributed applications, from e-mail and word processing programs to spreadsheets, games and financial management tools. They run on distant, massive and shared data centers, and users of the services pay with their attention to ads, not cash,”Richtel writes.

How much this free software preference is motivating Microsoft in its yearning for Yahoo is the subject of Richtel’s article. He quotes various technology experts and corporate spokespeople on the subject. A conversation he recounts with a college student whose software of choice is the free stuff is particularly interesting.

Financial Times also has a brief article today discussing this aspect of Microsoft’s interest in Yahoo here (“Microsoft’s motivation” Feb 9, 2008, subscriber only).

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