Why microsoft should have bought CNET

by ian on May 18, 2008

In my opinion, CNET being bought by CBS represents another lost opportunity by Microsoft. In my opinion, they should have bought CNET, at $1.8 billion it looks like a relative bargain.

On the surface, CNET as a technology site does not hold the power and influence it once had, that has been eroded by more nimble internet tech sites like engadget.com etc However there is no doubting the popularity of download.com Add its gaming site gamespot.com, and these sites would have been a perfect fit for microsoft to promote its products.

Then you have domains like tv.com where the possibilities are enormous. I spend more time watching sites like youtube.com than normal tv these days. Tv being streamed via the internet could very well be the way of the future, and what better a name than tv.com

Then we have news.com Most people I know who are not heavy internet users, do use the internet to see the latest news stories. Here in Australia, one of the top two news sites is news.com.au A global news site branded under news.com would have been amazing.

Oh and now the real reason I think microsoft should have bought cnet. The domain search.com You just dont get a better domain for a search engine than that. msn search is a failure, live.com is a failure, search.com would have been a perfect brand to launch a new search engine, and search is where all the rivers of gold lie. They could have spent a few years building all the server infrastructure and building a better search product than google and launched it under the search.com brand. But alas, the suits at microsoft seem more interested in marketing and branding a useless product, they have got it all back to front. Build a better product, and you wont need all that fancy marketing.  And it wouldnt take a rocket scientist to be able to build a better search product than google, given that microsoft still controls internet explorer, which is still the most popular browser on the internet, though IE 7.0 was a mess in my opinion.

Microsoft buying Yahoo might deliver them more eyeballs, but it will not gain them any ground in search, as Yahoo does not have the search technology to take on google. Bill Gates is a brilliant man, he appears to be somewhat detached from the company these days, I do believe that if he got fired up in the spirit of when the company was founded, he could win the search wars.

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Microsoft could still possibly buy CNET ?
May 21, 2008 at 9:42 pm

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