Friday, 1 February 2008

Microsoft's New Baby is called Yahoo - I don't think so

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Here we are in the town of Avenches in Switzerland, orginally known as Aventicum. Yes I have been there. It is one of those places that is near enough to make a one hour car journey towarads the West and which goes over the Swiss language border meaning that the main language spoken is French - although only just, the German speaking borders are near.

After the Swiss helvetic tribes (Switzerland was originally known as Helvetia) had loss their battle against Julius Ceaser who must also have been a Swiss tourist, they returned to Switzerland in the middleland (where I live) in 58 B.C. When Aventicum was founded no-one really knows but in 15 B.C. after the Roman take-over, Aventicum became the capital city of the Helvetians (Swiss). The town was stratigically important and also a canal connected the town with the harbour on the nearbye Lake of Murten.

Then under emperor Vespasian, 71-72 A.D. the town became a colony. A lot of building was carried on and Avenches still resembles a sort of openair museum. The Roman theatre is still there and used for open air operas or plays. Around 200-300 A.D. this capital Helvetic city had about 20,000 inhabitants and good connection to the Roman Empire. Then the Alemann tribes came (sort of German folk) around 275-277 A.D. and Aventicum was destroyed quite a bit. Although the town still existed it never really recovered from these attackes - officially the Roman time came to and end in 455 A.D. in this area. It is a sort of archealogists paradise as they are always digging something up from the past.

So what is this all about. Well our beloved Yahoo has discovered Avenches or Aventicum and has decided it is time to occupy this town with so much history.

"The American Internet search engine giant is building a SFr35-million data center near the Nespresso factory in the community in northern Vaud in Switzerland. The Californian company Yahoo! has chosen Avenches over Yverdon for its planned European data center. The company is signing a deal today to buy 36,000 square meters of industrial land in the former Roman city for SFr 4.8 million. The site is located next to the Nespresso factory under construction.

The cost of building Yahoo’s European data center is estimated at SFr35 million. The company will employ 20 engineers. The center is expected to be very energy-intensive, using 20 gigawatts per hour, equivalent to the energy consumed by a city of 12,000 people.
According to the terms of the contract, Yahoo has the right to break the agreement with the city of Avenches if archeological problems delay construction. The city, in the Broye region, is known to have a lot of Roman remains underground.

Yahoo has not said why it chose Avenches over Yverdon, another city the American company was considering. For Jacques Pasche, director of DEWS (Economic Development Western Switzerland), the Avenches site had a higher profile than Yverdon. The inexpensive land and cheap electricity could be other factors to explain Yahoo’s decision, Pasche said"

So there we have it in a nutshell. I would love it if they found a historic Roman temple when they start digging, now that would be fun. Living nearbye, it almost entices me to cancel my Multiply and rejoin Yahoo again, but only almost. I am still sad about the awaited demise of 360° and have now made my new home in Multiply with many other Yahoo refugees. But Julius Ceasar had his problems as well, and the new problem for Yahoo has appeared on the horizon by the name of Microsoft. A horizontal starter by the name of Google has been a thorn in Microsoft eyes for some time. Now Microsoft has seen its chance to become even bigger and better. Yahoo is not so healthy at the moment and has problems. Many Yahoo people are losing their jobs - are we Multiply refugees perhaps the reason? I don't think so, but a little bit of mismanagement has occurred. Microsoft have decided that if they take over Yahoo, Google will suffer and might even go to the software happy hunting grounds and Microsoft will become bigger and Bill Gates even richer than he is. Yahoo is thinking about it and have not yet said yes please. I also think the American way of life is not happy with one company taking over the complete search mashine organisation so who knows what will happen.

In the meanwhile the little town of Avenches and its people are waiting for the day when the ground breaking ceremony for the new Yahoo centre arrives and are going about their daily lives as usual

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