Integration Not a Problem

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-02-22 Print this article Print

To that end, Johnson dismissed the belief that the companies' disparate technology platforms would be problematic to integrate, saying that Microsoft has acquired vendors that employed both Windows and open-source technologies.

Much of Yahoo's current infrastructure is built with PHP and other languages, while the lion's share of Microsoft's code is Windows-based. Some analysts have said juggling multiple technologies would be difficult.

"Although Windows is our strategic platform and in some cases the teams ultimately migrated their products to Windows for a variety of reasons, in other cases we have prioritized continuity and have used open interoperability mechanisms to achieve effective systems integration," Johnson said, which is a reference to the company's recent moves to show programmers its code.

Regarding Yahoo employees concerned about being uprooted from the headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., to the one in Redmond, Wash., Johnson said Microsoft would "absolutely" maintain locations in both. Microsoft hosts 1,800 employees in Silicon Valley.

However, Johnson also had a warning to employees with loose lips, noting that Microsoft employees should not speculate with Yahoo employees about the proposal and that no Microsoft employee should reach out to Yahoo employees for "integration planning unless specifically instructed to do so by the integration team."

Johnson added that "if and when" Yahoo agrees to proceed with the proposed transaction, Microsoft will seek regulatory approval and shoot to close the deal in late 2008.

Meanwhile, the value of the deal has sagged to $41 billion or so, thanks to a dip in Microsoft's stock and Legg Mason investor Bill Miller's statement that Yahoo is worth closer to $40 per share.

Some experts believe Microsoft will launch a proxy fight to avoid triggering Yahoo's poison pill, which would flood the market with additional shares to dilute any holdings Microsoft could acquire from mass investor sell-offs.


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