Daily Archives: May 12, 2011


Steve Ballmer became chief executive of Microsoft in January 2000, a few months before a federal judge ordered the company to be broken up on antitrust grounds, because it was too powerful and was extending its grip too widely. This ruling was later reversed and, 11 years later Microsoft remains in one piece, and its size and scope has turned into its weakness.

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Online communications networks have always held a strong business allure. Long before Microsoft alighted on the idea of buying Skype, they were seen as useful tools for supporting and entrenching other businesses.

It may sound almost laughable now, but at the time of AOL’s acquisition of Time Warner, the AOL instant messaging system was talked of as a powerful distribution system for Time Warner’s media properties, and a big reason for the deal.

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All successful ex-cons know how to sound remorseful and reformed by their experience. So it is with Microsoft, which on Thursday will end a nine-year stint in the regulatory sin-bin when its consent decree with the Department of Justice expires. Read more

Facebook has admitted that it hired a public-relations firm in the US with the aim of placing stories critical of Google’s approach to privacy in the media.

The embarrassing disclosure is the latest sign of the increasing rivalry between Facebook and Google, as they go head-to-head over internet users’ time and advertisers’ budgets. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Google has given developers a sneak peek of its simplified Google TV interface, AllThingsDigital reports. The new look to the screen has a simplified set of app icons along the bottom, an action bar on the right, with most of the screen left clear for live television.

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