Daily Archives: May 28, 2009

Microsoft is taking aim at Google’s core business with Bing, its new search engine.

Initial reviews around the web are positive. CNET said, “in search presentation, Bing wins.” Geekword said it was not just renamed Live Search, but rather “a significant upgrade that contains new features and a new interface and is considered as a decision engine.” But Search Engine Land made it clear that, “no, Bing is not a ‘Google Killer.’”

FT reporter Joe Menn attended Bing’s unveiling at the D7 conference, and filed this report:

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer gave an impressive demonstration of the company’s improved search engine, rebranded as “Bing,” at a technology conference in Carlsbad California.

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The FT’s editorial board argues that social networks are a challenge to undemocratic societies:

Web 2.0 – user-created content – has created further outlets for subversion, by making it easier to argue online and organise web-based movements. In many countries, political discourse, seared offline, is sprouting on the internet.

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From the FT’s Comment page, Irwin Stelzer, director of economic policy studies at the Hudson Institute, says the US is finally catching up to the EU and getting tough on high-tech anti-competitive behaviour:

For once, America is running at top speed to catch up with the European Union. In levying a record fine against Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, the EU competition authorities have let it be known that a dominant company’s efforts to crush rivals by threatening customers or rigging a price schedule will not be tolerated.

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HDMI - the one-cable alternative to the spaghetti of audio and video connections behind home theatre set-ups – is adding ethernet to its capabilities as the internet comes to the television and living room.

A new proliferation of wires threatens, with internet-connected games consoles, set-top boxes and even TV sets linked by ethernet cables. However, HDMI ‘s 1.4 specification, announced today, means such data requirements can now be absorbed in its next-generation cable instead. Read more

  • A Yahoo / Microsoft deal could still be struck if it involved “a boatload of money.” That was the word from Carol Bartz, Yahoo’s chief executive, who said her company is no longer in serious talks with Microsoft over a deal to combine their search efforts. But she acknowledged that negotiations between the two companies were continuing “a little bit”.
  • Time Warner is close to a decision to spin off all of its AOL internet business, according to three people in contact with the company. Although a decision has not yet been finalised, executives prefer spinning off the whole division rather than a part. Over the past year, Time Warner has considered spinning off either its advertising-driven “audience business” or its legacy dial-up internet business, they say.

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Joseph Menn, San Francisco-based technology correspondent, reports from AllThingsD, the annual tech conference put on by News Corp in Carlsbad, California:

Yahoo’s Carol Bartz, who took over as CEO in January, impressed a tough crowd, getting more sustained applause after her onstage interview than the two young men who run yesterday’s New New Thing, Twitter.

Bartz came across as sensible and plain spoken, the logical sort of manager to straighten out an inherited organisation chart that appeared made of spaghetti. Read more