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Google Ends Microsoft's Yahoo Search

50°
345w ago - Microsoft and Yahoo were pushed to the brink of a multibillion-dollar marriage and then to a sudden breakup this weekend by the same player. It was Google, in the odd dual role of both unwitting matchmaker and self-interested spoiler.

Google's phenomenal rise, after all, prodded Microsoft, the dominant technology company for more than two decades, to court Yahoo. And Google's success also weakened Yahoo enough to give Microsoft the sense that it could buy the company at a good price.

A combined Microsoft-Yahoo would create a powerful competitor, and Google early on indicated that it would fight the merger on antitrust grounds in Washington and Brussels.

But Google played a part in killing the deal, for now at least, by acting more as friend than foe. It offered to let Yahoo use its more sophisticated search advertising technology, which by some estimates would have meant $1 billion in additional cash flow a year for Yahoo. The partnership would also bring Google more revenue.

The prospect of such a partnership emboldened Yahoo's board to demand more money for the company and eventually caused Microsoft to rethink its strategy.

Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, cited the proposed Google partnership as the main reason for not pursuing a hostile...
 

Blu-ray sales tank for good reasons

100°
345w ago - Blu-ray player sales are sucking wind as well they should. According to Cnet, sales of the DRM infected format players are dropping like rocks.

The not so bright people out there had expected sales to skyrocket once the format war was done, but it didn't. They thought was people would ignore the massive defects of Blu-ray and buy like the dumb sheep that they are, handcuffing themselves to the Sony bank account.

Surprise, it didn't happen. US consumers are still dumb sheep, but this time they are realizing what is being done to them and they aren't biting. Sony's hope of having 50% of disc sales this year be Blu-ray are more likely to happen because of falling DVD sales than rocketing Blu-ray.

The format has three problems, DRM infections, BD-J and greed. The greed part is obvious, Sony won the format war and are trying to charge people between 50 and 100% more for a product with marginally better quality. Sure, it looks better, and the 0.07% of people with 7.1 channel audio setups will be overjoyed, but for the rest, it is a small step at best over an upconverting DVD.

Are you going to buy the DVD version for $16.99 on new release sale or $29.99 for the BD? It doesn't take a genius to realize that the next iteration of Hollywood Formula #7 with Big Stars #3 and #8 isn't worth it....
 

More RV770 and RV770X2 Chip details!

50°
345w ago - ATI said a few things about its new upcoming RV770 chips, and as we've said before you can expect RV770PRO with DDR3, RV770XT with DDR5 support and the top end, R700 aka (RV770X2) with two RV770XT chips in a dual-card configuration.

The new GPUs are 55nm and they are actually an architecture shrink chip with minor architectural changes. Of course, just as RV670, they do support DirectX 10.1 and at the same time, they will bring some significant performance improvements compared to the previous RV670 generation.

The new RV770 chip will also have great improvements in power consumption. The launch date is late Q2 2008, most likely June, but real volume availability is expected in early Q3 2008, probably July.

We still don't know the clocks or the official name.
 

18 Features Windows Should Have, But Doesn't!

50°
346w ago - Some of the coolest OS features are nowhere to be found in Windows XP or Vista. Here are 18 brilliant features that Microsoft should beg for, borrow, or steal--plus tips on how you can add many of them to your PC now.

Love it or hate it, Microsoft Windows is the world's most dominant operating system. But when you look at some of the hot features found in competitors such as Linux and Mac OS X, both XP and Vista can seem a little incomplete.

From intuitive interface features like Apple's application dock and Cover Flow to basic media capabilities such as ISO burning, Windows often falls short on built-in goodies. And some features that other operating systems offer by default-- such as 64-bit processing and business-networking tools--require a premium-version license in Windows.

We took a good look at a variety of OSs, from the Mac to Linux to PC-BSD and beyond, and we rounded up a list of our favorite features--few of which come standard in any version of Windows. We even considered some operating systems of yore, and recalled a couple of cool features that Microsoft still hasn't caught on to.

Some of these features simply aren't available for Windows at all, owing to the way the OS is designed. But you can add most of them to XP or Vista with the help of third-party applications,...
 

Another Manufacturer says XBox 360 Blu-ray coming this year!

50°
346w ago - A report from Taiwanese news source Economic Daily News says that Pegatron Technology (a recently formed subsidiary of Asus that shouldn't be confused with the Decepticon leader) has received an order from Microsoft to manufacture a Blu-ray equipped model of the Xbox 360.

According to the report, Pegatron says that it plans to begin production on the HD version of the Xbox 360 soon, with plans to ship within the next six months, aiming for a pre-holiday release.

It won't be the first time we've heard talk about Microsoft gloming on to the format, as the DigiTimes recently pegged manufacturer Lite-On as a Xbox 360 Blu-ray drive maker and Sony executives hinted that its competitor was feeling Blu to the Financial Times.

MS CEO Steve Ballmer recently went on record about the move away from HD-DVD, saying the company will "support Blu-ray in ways that make sense."

Microsoft PR, of course, continues to beat the digital distribution drum and deny the existence of a BRD playing 360. We would of course be shocked to learn that something slipped from the airtight walls of Microsoft early, so we're sticking with unconfirmed rumor at this point.

The EDN report also mentions that a price cut for the Core (Arcade) version of the 360 is planned, but doesn't provide further...
 
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