Creative Commons Photo Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/niallkennedy/43468891/
I must say that I was quite surprised this morning to read the news regarding Microsoft's announcement of their 44 Billion dollar bid for Yahoo!. In today's search engine race it is obvious that Google is continuing to climb in the market and clearly is the dominant player. It seems reasonable for Microsoft, who has the cash on hand, to put forth an effort to salvage their own live.com.
In many ways the easiest and most habitual action is to reach out to Google for the tools and services that they provide. Google Earth, Google Docs, and GMail are all extremely popular services utilized by educators around the country and the world. I use all of these tools but there are some aspects of live.com, specifically maps.live.com that I really like. The bird's eye view is by far my favorite.
I have utilized the bird's eye view in my classroom during lessons involving locations around our community. Something about the aerial view/hybrid view just does not cut it. In my opinion seeing a side angle of a building or a local landmark is preferable to pixelated views of roofs and tree tops. That opinion can certainly be debated, but based on the response of my third graders they tend to recognize the location much more once I switch over to maps.live.com.
I believe this news is a good thing for both Yahoo! and Microsoft as they seek to hold ground, and users, in the web search industry. If anything, I believe that it will create more competition (I hope) which in the end leads to better products for the end users (you and I). Better applications, that are intuitive and stable, can lead to more confidence for the reluctant teacher. Variety can be healthy. Even if in 3-5 years it is Google vs. Microsoft Yahoo! Ask Search.
Now I wonder, if this all goes through...will Yahoo! become Yahoo! Live?
Will Yahoo! drop the "!"?