As most of you have probably heard by now, Microsoft has offered to purchase Yahoo!. As I was watching the news this morning while getting ready for work and heard this for the first time, my first thought was--wow what does this mean for email? Well I am sure a lot of you have already pondered that same question, but I thought I would share my thoughts with you as well.
First, the deal is not done yet, and for those of us that watch this industry as much as I do, it isn't a big surprise. Microsoft has to do something to keep up with Google, so by purchasing Yahoo! they are in a better position to do so. Secondly, if they do close this deal (which personally I would be surprised if they didn't), I don't think changing their email systems will be their top priority. To me, this deal is all about advertising, not email. That being said, I can't imagine that this merger would have any great effect on the email space for at least 2-3 years. Let's think about it for a minute.
Yahoo! and Microsoft/Hotmail use two different authentication methods, which one will they choose, or will they use both Sender ID and DKIM together?
Yahoo! manages a number of other domains through their partnership agreements such as SBC/Yahoo and others, what will they do with those streams of mail?
Will they simply get rid of one system and make everyone migrate to the other?
While these are all great questions that my team and I have already begun to ask, the great news is that we will have plenty of notice before any major changes occur. Through our relationships with both organizations, we will be able to prepare our customers and pro-actively manage any changes that might occur due to this proposed merger. Stay tuned for more on this as the saga continues.