Last night I was chopshopping my old Dell XPS 410 and scavenging memory to put in my current desktop (upgraded from 4GB to 6GB woo hoo) and I looked at the “old” harddrive. I pulled it out completely and decided not to reformat it to try to sell it in the bundle with my XPS; sometimes trying to clean & wipe an old harddrive is more trouble than just yanking it out and letting someone else figure out how to replace it…
… which brings me to these Microsoft buying AOL rumors today.
Why would Microsoft buy AOL? Lots of reasons, some good, some bad, but let’s not pretend we’re CEOs and major stockholders, but let’s think about what it would mean to the average user.
If you remember, I was looking into hotmail in an early post a few weeks back and part of my reasoning is that my yahoo mail is potentially a part of a sinking ship. Google’s dominance in search and now email, plus the continuous discontinuation of services at Yahoo (I believe photos and personals are two of the biggest examples of “someone is doing it far better, so let’s cut our losses”) means that Yahoo, like AOL, doesn’t have much to offer that you can’t get elsewhere, better.
With one personal exception for me:
I have personally been a victim of Google Maps on many occassions. Usually, Google Maps did a great job, and I jinxed it by swearing about how many times it gave me great directions. However, over the past year, I have crashed head on into botched maps and navigation on almost every other trip. Mapquest? Much more reliable.
So if you’re an AOL user, your email accounts that you’ve had for 10 years would be much safer and secure under the corporate umbrella of Microsoft. Keep in mind, AOL is worth about $2 Billion, Microsoft about $200 Billion. Your AOL stuff would probably be migrated or offered to convert to hotmail, bing, and other Microsoft Services.
I don’t know anyone who used AOL for online access in recent years, but at this point if you’ve still kept it, I’m sure you use it the same way I use Yahoo: it’s the email you always kept around, and it was too much trouble and effort to convert to something new. So maybe if you’re not into cleaning out your old harddrives and reformatting them like me, maybe AOL being bought by Microsoft isn’t such a bad idea on paper.
Then again, sometimes packing up the Family Truckster for a trip to Wally World isn’t a bad idea either, on paper.