As Microsoft and Yahoo do the tango, but fail to consummate anything, Google continues to erode their shares of the search engine market. According to Hitwise, Google’s share increased from 68.29 percent to 69.17 percent in June. Yahoo’s share dropped from 19.95 percent to 19.62 percent. Microsoft dropped from 5.89 percent to 5.46 percent. Their sampling is based on 10 million U.S. Internet users
Google it seems has little to worry about from the Dynamic Duo anytime soon.
It seems that Yahoo’s recent rejections of a Microsoft offer with a short deadline, has spurred on investor Carl Icahn to proceed with his attempt to replace Yahoo’s current board, including Chief Executive Jerry Yang.
In a note written to Yahoo shareholders Icahn said, "Our company is on a precipice and our board seems ready to take the risk of seeing it topple".
Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock and Chief Executive Jerry Yang wrote, "We are prepared to let you, our stockholders, not Microsoft and Carl Icahn, decide what is in your best interests and we look forward to the upcoming vote".
Recent gains that Yahoo stock had made on hopes that Ichan could broker a deal fell 4.2% on Monday’s trading.
It seems the showdown is on for the August 1st shareholders vote. You can catch more details here.
Will Yahoo be assimilated? Is resistance futile? Sound off, and tell us what you think!
Yahoo rejected the proposal in a press statement citing several grounds for the decision. It believes that the terms of the proposed search-operation buyout are unfavorable for the company’s stockholders. However, it has softened its earlier stance a bit and now appears to favor a full sellout at $33/share, as originally proposed by Microsoft but rejected by it. The fate of the reigning Yahoo Board of Directors, and consequently, the deal will now be decided on August 1 – board election Day.
In the world of online searches, there's Google and then there's everyone else. Take a peek inside Merriam-Webster and you'll find Google officially recognized as a verb. Of course, M-W hasn't exactly been stingy when it comes to including tech terms, but when you dominate the market with a 68 percent slice of the pie (and close to 90 percent depending on geographic location), perhaps you're entitled to alter the English language.
By comparison, Yahoo, the second most popular search engine behind Google, only accounts for about 20 percent of searches, according to Hitwise statistics. That leaves a considerable gap to close, and to help them do it, Yahoo has begun calling on start-ups to lend a hand. It's a scratch my back and I'll scratch yours approach, whereby Yahoo is willing to open its search technology and data centers, giving start ups with limited funds a way to develop a search service from the ground up. Yahoo will then sell ads on those search engines and share the revenue.
Yahoo execs are calling the new strategy Boss, or build your own search service. How it ultimately pans out remains to be seen, but in the meantime, Google is still the real boss of the internet. Can the search giant be toppled?
Of course, the respective owners of the images will have a right to refuse a request from Getty. Getty is going through a rough financial patch and this move is clearly a gambit to get out of it. Getty had very recently introduced a cheap web images package for only $49, a move that drew flak from photographers.
It appears as though that most of the images that Getty will buy from Flickr users would be used for its cheap web images package. All Flickr users will have to sign a contract with Getty images before they can be recompensed for their work. The payment will be based on size and use of the image. Getty will launch a new Flickr-branded image collection for selling images acquired from Flickr members.
Carl Icahn should feel at home in boardroom coups, after having fashioned a few of them. Along with experience, he has tenacity and a never-say-die attitude, which is rearing its head in the aftermath of Microsoft’s deal with Yahoo. While some people attribute the breakdown of (doomed-from-the-start?) talks between the two tech giants to company culture clash, Icahn is trying his best to agitate Yahoo stockholders into a revolt against the company’s board. Icahn’s fresh missive to Yahoo stockholders claims Microsoft is still interested in buying Yahoo’s search engine business or the entire company.
He reports to stockholders that Microsoft's CEO has personally conveyed his distaste for the current Yahoo board, and so, wouldn’t enter any negotiations with the incumbent board. Ballmer wasted no time in confirming Microsoft’s interest in “a major transaction with Yahoo, such as either a transaction to purchase the "Search" function with large financial guarantees or, in the alternative, purchasing the whole company." But he made it amply clear that negotiations would be resumed only after a new board of directors is elected.
Yahoo wants Microsoft to prove its seriousness and make an offer immediately, if it’s interested in a deal. The company warned in its response that it doesn’t believe a deal – with a new board in place - would be in the best interest of Yahoo stockholders.
The battle between Adobe's Flash format and Microsoft's competing Silverlight software to deliver rich internet applications (RIAs, not to be confused with the RIAA, an entirely different beast in every sense of the word) to your browser may come down to which technology search engines are better able to index. Adobe recently announced a new initiative with Google and Yahoo towards making the Flash file format (SWF) more easily visible to each site's respective spiders, leaving Microsoft noticeably missing from the group pow-wow.
But one company is taking notice of Microsoft. Find out who it is and what they want after the jump.
Yahoo has been holding Hack Days since December, 2005 and is steadily increasing the frequency of such events besides taking them to different countries. If last year London and Bangalore played host to the event, it will be Taiwan’s turn in September, 2008. Hack Day participants have to make web apps within 24 hrs using Yahoo’s own homegrown API. Hackers don’t walk away empty-handed as there are various prizes for them. A splendid way of scouring for talent!
Developers concerned about indexing have thus far been hesitant to incorporate Flash into websites because of the challenge involved in making the content searchable. This despite the fact that more than 98 percent of internet-connected computers have Adobe's Flash Player installed. Search engines are able to index static text and lnks within Flash SWF files, but as Adobe points out, "rich internet applications and dynamic Web content have been generally difficult to fully expose to search engines because of their changing states," a problem which also exists in other RIA technologies.
To help get over that hurdle, Adobe announced a new initiative with Google and Yahoo to make Flash files more indexable-friendly by search engines. For its part, Google says it developed an algorithm that explores Flash files in the same way a surfer does, "by clicking buttons, entering input, and so on." Any text visible to a website visitor while interacting with a Flash file is also visible to Google's algorithm. And while Yahoo isn't quite as far along as Google, the collaboration with Adobe means it's now a matter of when, not if, SWF applications become more searchable.
Missing from this latest announcement is any mention of Microsoft and its MSN Search. It remains unclear whether Adobe purposely excluded the Redmond company, which owns Silverlight (a competitng format to Adobe's Flash), or if Microsoft chose not to participate. But regardless of Microsoft's level of involvement, expect to see more Flash content, whether you want it or not.
Microsoft, still flush with search-tool cash after being scorned by Yahoo, has purchased natural-language search provider Powerset in a deal announced July 1st. Powerset will join Microsoft's core Search Relevance team and remain intact in its current San Francisco office.
To find out why Microsoft needs Powerset's technology, and to catch up on other ways that Microsoft is fighting against Google's dominance, catch me after the break.