Just read news about Microsoft potentially buying or merging with Yahoo. These are just rumours, and lots of analysis will discuss why the deal may or may not make sense.

I’m more curious about the OSS usage impact if this deal goes through. Everyone knows that Yahoo is a heavy user of OSS. Heck, it’s hard to think about PHP without Yahoo coming to mind. With this deal, Microsoft could become one of the biggest users of OSS overnight. Just think about that for a second.

Hotmail used to run on BSD when Microsoft bought it, and now Hotmail is on Windows and uses .NET stuff. If you haven’t played with Hotmail Live, give it another look, because it rocks. I still use Gmail (works better with Firefox and there’s too much peer pressure around using Gmail), but hope that Google borrows some ideas from Hotmail Live (or Windows Live Hotmail as it seems to be called).

If the deal goes through, I think Microsoft will leave the OSS usage within Yahoo at a fairly high level for a fairly long period of time. Things may get replaced with Microsoft technology over time, but even Microsoft has bean counters that are going to ask “why do we need to spend time & resources on that?” The deal could also be impetus for Microsoft to take a leap forward with its OSS strategy.

Will be interesting to see what we hear from the Microsoft folks over at Port 25

Interesting times!