The empire strikes back!

  

Google has responded to Microsoft’s bid to takeover Yahoo. David Drummond, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer for Google has posted a response on the Official Google Blog, and they’re not happy.

According to David, Microsoft’s hostile bid for Yahoo! raises troubling questions. This is about more than simply a financial transaction, one company taking over another. It’s about preserving the underlying principles of the Internet: openness and innovation. 

He goes on to to say;

Could Microsoft now attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC? While the Internet rewards competitive innovation, Microsoft has frequently sought to establish proprietary monopolies — and then leverage its dominance into new, adjacent markets.

Could it also be that Google sees the merging of these two companies as a threat to the dominance they now exert over the Web?

I don’t know if we’re seeing a Luke Skywalker vs Darth Vader battle here, or if there are any bad guys at all. What will be interesting is what could possibly happen if Microsoft is successful. No doubt new tools to play with and a Google fightback. Interesting times we live in. Thanks to Download Squad and Phil Bradley for alerts to this post.   

*For those who read my previous post -pleased to report car keys found by kind citizen and returned to me today. To Lynne, who did the good deed and refused a reward for her kindness, my hope is that karma comes around and serves you well.

Breaking news – Microsoft proposal to buy Yahoo!

Download Squad has just posted a report suggesting that Microsoft has proposed to purchase all Yahoo outstanding shares. Here’s what Microsoft have to say in their press release;

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) today announced that it has made a proposal to the Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) Board of Directors to acquire all the outstanding shares of Yahoo! common stock for per share consideration of $31 representing a total equity value of approximately $44.6 billion. Microsoft’s proposal would allow the Yahoo! shareholders to elect to receive cash or a fixed number of shares of Microsoft common stock, with the total consideration payable to Yahoo! shareholders consisting of one-half cash and one-half Microsoft common stock. The offer represents a 62 percent premium above the closing price of Yahoo! common stock on Jan. 31, 2008.

There’s been talk for a number of years now that Microsoft has been pumping millions into the development of a search engine that would tip Google off the top of the mount. Perhaps they’ve decided now to acquire the next best thing, Yahoo, and see what they can do with this platform that has the brand association they need.  If they are successful, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them infuse Yahoo with new tools they may have in development that would give Google a run for their money. Here’s what Ray Ozzie, Chief Software Architect at Microsoft has said;

 “The combination of these two great teams would enable us to jointly deliver a broad range of new experiences to our customers that neither of us would have achieved on our own.”

I think Google has Microsft running scared with the introduction of Google Docs and Spreadsheets etc. Interesting times we live in – can’t wait to see how things unfold.

Toonlet – creativity for your classroom on what has been a sad day.

Toonlet looks like a great little tool that will enable your students to create comic strip characters and then create a comic strip starring their creative efforts.  Here’s an example from their archives;

Ethan Wandingham

If you’re looking for an online tool to make your class activities a little more interesting and engaging, this could be something to consider. Best part of all, it’s free!  Download Squad have done a review of Toonlet which is worth a read.

On a completely different note, I was saddened today to hear of Heath Ledger’s passing. After seeing a quick news grab regarding this my first reaction was to go to Google News and search ‘Heath Ledger dead’ to find out what was being reported. Sure enough in seconds I was looking at a New York Post article which was providing me with a lot more detail than what my television news service was offering. When I spoke about this to a friend during the day she was surprised that I had thought to do this and even more surprised to find out that you can select news from the Google toolbar and complete a search in this field. It made me realise once again that many people are not always familiar with new technology. We need to remember this and not assume that just because we are comfortable with the Web that others are similarly empowered. Teaching opportunities are everywhere – today mine was at a swimming pool complex – and my friend was going to go home and try it out.