Japan FTC May Review Yahoo-Google Deal

The Wall Street Journal reports the largest online retailer in Japan, Rakuten has asked the Japan Fair Trade Commission to review the Yahoo-Google deal from a few months back. A Rakuten spokesperson said: The tie-up between the two firms would result in Google monopolizing information, which could hinder the development and growth of not only search engines but many Internet-related services in Japan. As we know, Microsoft said they will also challenge the deal where they said: We plan to present evidence to the Japanese FTC explaining why we believe that this deal is substantially [...]

Firefox 4 To Add Bing As Search Option

Bing announced that in the upcoming version of Firefox, Bing will be added as one of the standard set of search provider options. This will be on both the Mac and PC versions of Firefox 4. Bing said: We’re very excited to be included in the search engine choices in the upcoming version of Firefox. Having Bing in the "out of the box" list makes it easier than ever for the Firefox community to experience the benefits of Bing. Postscript From Danny Sullivan: The current default search engine in Firefox is Google, and that doesn't seem to be changing. However, it's a big boost for Bing to [...]

“Free Isn’t Free”: Microsoft Trying To Make Android More Costly With Patent Suit

News broke yesterday that Microsoft was suing Motorola for Android-related patent infringements. Microsoft said in a blog post that its patents cover a range of software functions used by Android devices (presumably this would apply to the iPhone as well): The Microsoft innovations at issue in this case help make smartphones "smart."  Indeed, our patents relate to key features that users have come to expect from every smartphone.  The ability to send and receive email on-the-go has driven smartphone adoption . . . Of course, for certain apps to run efficiently on handheld devices, th [...]

Microsoft’s CEO, Ballmer: Google Is “Copying” Us

The Seattle Times Newspaper published an interview with Microsoft's CEO, Steve Ballmer. The interview covered many topics but I wanted to highlight the search specific topics. Ballmer in the interview said, "They're [Google] starting to look at the stuff we're doing and copying it back. What is it? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." He outright says Google is copying them. Of course, many would agree. I also found Ballmer's comments on what Bing does better than Google. Ballmer said, "our maps are better, our images our better, our picture is different." In response to [...]

Microsoft Launches A New Loyalty Program: Bing Rewards

Prior Microsoft search loyalty programs, SearchPerks and Cashback, were retired. But maybe the third time's the charm: today Microsoft is rolling out Bing Rewards Preview (beta). It's a credit card or airline-style loyalty program that offers users credits that can be redeemed for products, gift cards or charitable donations. People must first install the Bing Bar toolbar, have a Windows Live ID, be on a Windows machine and use Internet Explorer. No Chrome or Firefox, no Macs. You get 250 credits for signing up and accrue additional credits by taking desired actions or conducting sea [...]

MSFT Will Challenge Google-Yahoo Japan Deal

In a move that should surprise no one, Microsoft says it will try to block the recently announced Google-Yahoo Japan partnership. In our story from Tuesday, a Microsoft senior VP spoke out strongly against the partnership. Now, Silican Alley Insider received confirmation last night that the company will take steps to challenge it formally. "We plan to present evidence to the Japanese FTC explaining why we believe that this deal is substantially more harmful to competition than Google's deal with Yahoo in 2008 that the DOJ found to be illegal," says a Microsoft rep. Also reported in o [...]

Yahoo Japan Switches To Google, Microsoft Calls It ‘Anti-Competitive’

AllThingsD reported that the Softbank majority owned Yahoo Japan has decided to replace Yahoo Search (soon Yahoo-Bing) with Google. Yahoo owns a minority stake in Yahoo Japan and so can't control or block the decision. According to a statement released by Yahoo it will "support" the deal as it is contractually bound to do: Yahoo! Japan announced that it has chosen to implement Google as its backend algorithmic search engine and paid search infrastructure. Yahoo! Japan made this decision as an independent and separate publicly traded company, in which Yahoo! holds a 35% equity interest. [...]

Microsoft Earnings Report: Revenue Up 22% & Net Income Up 48%

Microsoft announced earnings and beat expectations of Wall Street. Microsoft reported, "record fourth-quarter revenue of $16.04 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2010, a 22% increase from the same period of the prior year. Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $5.93 billion, $4.52 billion and $0.51 per share, which represented increases of 49%, 48% and 50%, respectively, when compared with the prior year period." The Online Services Division is where the search finances fall under. That includes Bing and the Yahoo alliance. Revenue in the O [...]

Yahoo Begins Testing Bing Powered Results This Month

Yahoo sent out an email discussing some of the organic Yahoo-to-Bing transition topics that are on the mind of their advertisers. The email goes over typical questions and tips but adds some additional insight into launch and testing dates. Yahoo confirmed they are testing Bing powered results "offline," which we already know. But today, I believe for the first time, Yahoo has confirmed they will be testing Bing powered results in the live search results. The email wrote: Though much of our testing is already happening offline, this month we'll also test the delivery of organic and pai [...]

Microsoft Moves To Gain Licensing Royalties From Android

The clever folks in Redmond (aided by their attorneys) appear to have found a way to gain "licensing revenue" from Android phones. That's right. Android the OS is "free," and that was seen, early on, as a competitive advantage vs. Windows Mobile, which had exacted a price of up to $15 dollars per unit from handset makers. Yesterday, however, Microsoft announced it had reached a licensing agreement with longtime partner HTC regarding its patent portfolio and Android phones: Microsoft Corp. and HTC Corp. have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent [...]

Microsoft Income Jumps, Online Services Loss Does Too

Wall Street is a curious place. A number of companies last week and this week reported very strong revenues suggesting that the recession is in fact over. But investors, disappointed that performance wasn't even stronger, punished their shares perhaps with more aggressive expectations than were justified under the circumstances. Amazon and eBay are two examples of companies with strong revenues and income where investors sold off the stock. And so is Microsoft. Redmond reported "record [fiscal] third-quarter revenue of $14.50 billion" with a 35% increase in net income. Investors responde [...]

Google’s Lobbying Spend Up 1,500% Since 2005

Among the major search engines, Microsoft is still the biggest spender when it comes to lobbying politicians, but none are spending lobbying dollars faster than Google. According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Google's spend on lobbying has gone from $260,000 in 2005 to more than $4 million in 2009, an increase of more than 1,500%. (chart via http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?year=2009&lname=Google+Inc&id=) As Google has grown, its business interests have clearly led to wanting a stronger voice in Washington, DC. We've documented the Department of Jus [...]

Watch The New Bing UK Commercial

Bing sent me a link to their new UK Bing commercial. The new UK ad blitz by Microsoft is aimed at capturing market share from Google in that region. Here is that commercial. [...]

Liveblog: Steve Ballmer Keynote At SMX West

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer makes his first address to the search marketing community today at SMX West in Santa Clara. Danny Sullivan will sit down with Ballmer for a "fireside chat" that will also include time for Q&A from members of the audience. NOTE: Microsoft has now posted a video and a transcript of the talk. Speaking of the audience, many of the big names in traditional media will be on hand to hear Ballmer talk about Microsoft's progress in search. And, did I mention that the keynote conversation is being streamed live on CNBC's Power Lunch program? It is. And if the conven [...]

The Microhoo Bunch

The recently approved Microsoft-Yahoo search deal, set to a song of my youth... Here's the story, of a lovely lady Her name is Carol Bartz, and she runs Yahoo It's a search engine, and a portal And it's getting hard to run the two Here's the story, of a man named Ballmer Who was bringing up a search engine of his own Its name was Bing, and it was pretty good But it was all alone Til the one day when the lady met this fellow And they knew it was much more than a hunch That the two, might somehow reach a deal That's the way they both became the Microhoo Bunch! The Microhoo B [...]

Yahoo & Microsoft Receive Go Ahead To Implement Search Deal

Yahoo and Microsoft announced they have clearance to implement their proposed search deal where Microsoft will power Yahoo Search and search ads. Today they received "unrestricted" clearance from both the U.S. Department of Justice (see here) and the European Commission to proceed. And proceed they will. Yahoo said the implementation will begin in the next "days." Here is the announcement: Implementation of the deal is expected to begin in the coming days and will involve transitioning Yahoo!’s algorithmic and paid search platforms to Microsoft, with Yahoo! becoming the exclusive relatio [...]

Microsoft Extends Bing Search Deal With Facebook

The Bing Search Blog announced Microsoft has extended their search deal with Facebook. In addition to extending the search deal, as expected, Facebook will drop Microsoft on the display ad side of the deal. The extended search deal includes a more robust Bing search experience on Facebook. This includes "richer answers combined with tools that help customers make faster, smarter decisions," said Microsoft. Also, Bing will power Facebook search outside of the U.S., to all Facebook users, worldwide. This will bring Bing search in front of 400 million or more Facebook users - a big win for [...]

Microsoft Earnings Beat Estimates Online Services Post Loss, More On Bing And The iPhone

Microsoft had a "blow out" quarter in which it saw $19.02 billion in revenue, a 14 percent increase from $16.63 billion in the same fiscal quarter a year ago. This was largely about the success of PC OS Windows 7. That's the story: people like it and are buying PCs. Everything else is a bit more mixed. Online Services, which houses online advertising and Bing, reported $581 million in revenue vs. $609 million a year ago. Lower revenues translated into higher losses for the division. There was a quarterly loss of $466 million compared with $320 million a year ago. Bing is making steady in [...]

Ballmer Critical Of Google’s China Decision

At a conference in Houston on Thursday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spoke critically of Google's recent decision to stop censoring its search results in China. Paraphrasing some of Ballmer's statements, Forbes says Ballmer called it an "irrational business decision" on Google's part. Ballmer suggested that Google's decision to no longer filter out internet searches objectionable to the Chinese government was an irrational business decision. After all, Ballmer said, the U.S. imports oil from Saudi Arabia despite the censorship that goes on in that country. "The U.S. is the most extreme wh [...]

Bing! Sues Microsoft Over Trademark Infringement

Small design firm sues Microsoft over Bing name from Ars Technica reports a St. Louis based design firm named Bing! is suing Microsoft for using their name. Bing! Information Design (www.bing.biz) is suing over "trademark infringement, unfair competition, and tortious interference with business expectancy." They filed their case on Wednesday, December 16th in Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis. The Simon Law Firm in St. Louis even released a press release on the suit saying, "For nearly 10 years my client has been using the Bing! mark," explains Anthony Simon. "My client selected thi [...]

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