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Yahoo – Microsoft and Yahoo Are Linked Up. Now What?

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Yahoo – Microsoft and Yahoo Are Linked Up. Now What?

Yahoo,  The bumpy, marathon mating dance between Microsoft and Yahoo finally concluded on Wednesday, when the two companies announced a partnership in Internet search and advertising to take on the industry powerhouse Google.

But there was plenty of skepticism about whether the new partners could make a serious dent in Google’s dominance.

Even with the deal, the Microsoft-Yahoo search operation will be dwarfed by Google — with a 28 percent market share in the United States, versus 65 percent — and will face an uphill struggle to try to wean people away from Google’s simple white search page.

If Yahoo and Microsoft cannot persuade people to switch, they will not build the larger audience that will bring in more revenue from ads tied to searches.

“This battle is won or lost as the user sits at the keyboard,” said Peter S. Fader, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and co-director of its Interactive Media Initiative. “Google is winning for good, consumer-friendly reasons. You can’t just buy that.”

The Microsoft-Yahoo pact represents a pragmatic division of duties between the two companies, instead of the blockbuster deal Microsoft, No. 3 in the search market, was shooting for last year when it bid $47.5 billion to buy Yahoo, No. 2 in search.

That hostile offer was ultimately withdrawn by Microsoft, and its collapse led to lots of soul-searching at Yahoo and the replacement of its co-founder Jerry Yang with an outsider, Carol Bartz, in the chief executive role.

Under the pact, Microsoft will provide the underlying search technology on Yahoo’s popular Web sites. The deal will give a lift to Microsoft’s search engine, which it recently overhauled and renamed Bing. Its search ads will have broader reach and become more lucrative.

Bing, which tries to put search results in better context than rivals, has won praise and favorable reviews, after Microsoft spent years falling farther and farther behind Google in search.

For Yahoo, the move furthers the strategy under Ms. Bartz to focus the company on its strengths as a publisher of Web media sites in areas like finance and sports, as a marketer and leader in online display advertising.

“This deal allows Yahoo to invest in what we should be investing in for the future — audience properties, display advertising and the mobile Internet experience,” Ms. Bartz said in an interview on Wednesday. “Our vision is to be the center of people’s lives online.”

The terms of the 10-year agreement give Microsoft access to Yahoo’s search technologies. Yahoo will receive a lucrative 88 percent of the search-generated ad revenue from its own sites for the first five years of the deal, much higher than is standard in the industry.

After the takeover bid failed, the companies renewed talks about a partnership last summer. The talks included discussion of a large upfront payment from Microsoft.

But when Ms. Bartz joined Yahoo at the start of this year, the interest on the Yahoo side shifted. Ms. Bartz was more interested in steady revenue to ensure the longer-term financial health of Yahoo instead of a big payment, she said in a conference call Wednesday.

Shares of Yahoo fell 12 percent, to $15.14, after the deal was announced, apparently reflecting investors’ disappointment in the lack of a payment. Shares of Microsoft rose slightly.

“It feels kind of like a stab in the chest,” said Darren Chervitz, the co-manager of the Jacob Internet Fund, which owns about 100,000 shares of Yahoo. “It certainly feels like Yahoo is giving away their strong and hard-fought share of the search market for really a modest price.”

Now, Yahoo’s financial fate will be inextricably linked with Microsoft for years. “My sense is that Yahoo will regret making this move,” Mr. Chervitz said.

If the deal is completed next year as planned, and after the partnership is fully in place in three years, Yahoo estimates that its operating income will increase by $500 million a year, based on the anticipated higher search traffic and ad revenue, and a substantial drop in its investment in technology development.

Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, said in an interview that Ms. Bartz had driven a hard bargain. “Look,” he said, “she got 88 percent of the revenue and none of the cost.”

Still, Mr. Ballmer added that he won something he badly wanted as well: “I got an opportunity to swing for the fences in search.”

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Asian markets down on European discord

 Asian markets down on European discord

HONG KONG: Asian markets mostly fell on Friday as a meeting between the eurozone’s three biggest economies highlighted their differences on finding a solution to the region’s debt crisis.

Traders remained nervous at the end of a week that saw fears over Europe deepen as the yields on Italian and Spanish bonds sat dangerously high and even Germany — the bloc’s pillar — failed to sell all its bonds at auction.

Tokyo was flat, edging down 5.17 points to end at 8,160.01, while Sydney shed 1.48 percent, or 59.90 points, to end at 3,984.3 and Seoul closed 1.04 percent, or 18.66 points, lower at 1,776.40.

Shanghai was 0.60 percent off and Hong Kong fell 1.21 percent in the afternoon.

The leaders of Germany, France and Italy on Thursday met to discuss plans to address the two-year-old debt crisis in a bid to sooth markets, which have been hammered over fears of a collapse of the eurozone and another global downturn. (AFP)

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Motorola handphone – More options, less hassle

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Motorola handphone – More options, less hassle

Motorola Handphone, CHOICE is what the MotoSurf A3100 offers when it comes to how users interact with this sleek Motorola smartphone designed for both personal and professional communications.

The touch tablet device has a 2.8-inch TFT touch-screen that allows the user to input text and select menus by either using the stylus provided, roller ball navigation or simply a touch of a finger through flicking and rolling gestures.

It also features handwriting recognition technology, which means any text written by the user with the stylus will automatically correspond and select the appropriate letters with the written text.

Also featured on the quad-band GSM device are 3G support, integrated Wi-Fi, a three-megapixel camera with a secondary VGA shooter, Google Maps, Bluetooth, messaging and e-mail, a media player and video conferencing capability.

Layered on top of the Windows Mobile 6.1 software, the phone’s home screen is customisable.You can select the icons to show whatever you need regularly, be they updates on local weather, Really Simple Syndication feeds, news, personal and work e-mail, messaging or calendar events.

Toggling back and forth between documents while on the go, listening to MP3 files, video conferencing on the run, updating your Facebook status, or using a GPS to navigate from point A to B – all are reasonably easy with the MotoSurf.

With Windows, the phone allows PC-like browsing with Internet Explorer or Opera. With Windows Media Player, you can transfer music, videos and images from a PC with ease as well as stream videos from YouTube anytime, anywhere.

Motorola Malaysia offers two extra applications: SongID and ShoZu. These applications are uploaded onto a one-gigabyte Micro Secure Digital card so it can be conveniently and quickly installed onto the device.

SongID recognises and displays tune information while ShoZu allows you to easily share the photos you’ve captured on your phone with your chosen online networks. Motorola says with ShoZu, you can send photos and videos to over 50 Web sites, including social networking sites, blogs, photo and news sites, and even e-mail addresses.

You can expect up to six hours of talk time on the MotoSurf and up to 288 hours standby with a full charge of the phone’s battery. At 110 millimetres by 60mm by 14mm and weighing 119 grams, the device can be stored and used with ease and not weigh you down. Go online to see the MotoSurf in action.

Product: MotoSurf A3100
Manufacturer: Motorola
Enquiries: Brightstar Distribution Sdn Bhd (03 21427878) or visit www.motorola.com/my or http://mediacenter.motorola.com
Price: RM1,999

SPECIFICATIONS
Dimensions: 110mm by 60mm by 14mm
Weight: 119g
Display: 2.8-inch, QVGA with resistive touch panel
Camera: Three megapixels with auto-focus, secondary VGA camera
Internal memory: 256MB flash, 128MB RAM
External memory: MicroSD up to 32GB
Standard battery: 1,170mAh
GSM talk time: Up to 6.8 hours
WCDMA talk time: Up to 5.4 hours
GSM standby time: Up to 12.4 days
WCDMA standby time: Up to 16 days
Messaging: SMS, MMS, IM, e-mail (Microsoft Outlook Exchange), Gmail, support for POP3 and IMAP4-based personal e-mail
Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB, internal GPS antenna, Wi-Fi
Internet features: Opera 9.5 full HTML Web browser
RF band: Quad-band GSM, EDGE/GPRS 12/12, tri-band HSDPA 850/1,900/2,100MHz
Other features: Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, MP3 player, FM radio, voice recorder, organiser tools, card reader, stylus, handwriting recognition

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