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May 18, 2008

NEWS: Microsoft Has Little for Advertisers

Without Yahoo, Microsoft Has Little for Advertisers

May 17, 2008; Page A2

Online advertisers next week will descend on Seattle seeking signs of how Microsoft Corp. will compete online without buying Yahoo Inc. They will have to wait a bit longer...

Next week's event won't deliver it. Instead, Microsoft will offer renewed faith in its existing plan: a vision for tying all of its disparate online services and related products into a one-stop-shopping place for advertisers. Microsoft will push the idea that only it can handle it all -- display ads on traditional Web sites, ads on mobile phones, ads in videogames and ads in any number of new areas, such as Surface, a new table computer for public places like casinos and hotels.

Offering support will be a cast of celebrities and celebrity business people, including director James Cameron and former Walt Disney head Michael Eisner. Microsoft will likely deliver some news on its online services, though it is likely to be incremental improvements, and not the real shot in the arm the business needs...

Ed: Weak article from WSJ.

Yahoo, Microsoft Back At The Table

Microsoft and Yahoo are back at the table, Microsoft says today. In a press statement, the company says:

in light of developments since the withdrawal of the Microsoft proposal to acquire Yahoo! Inc., Microsoft announced that it is continuing to explore and pursue its alternatives to improve and expand its online services and advertising business. Microsoft is considering and has raised with Yahoo! an alternative that would involve a transaction with Yahoo! but not an acquisition of all of Yahoo! Microsoft is not proposing to make a new bid to acquire all of Yahoo! at this time, but reserves the right to reconsider that alternative depending on future developments and discussions that may take place with Yahoo! or discussions with shareholders of Yahoo! or Microsoft or with other third parties. There of course can be no assurance that any transaction will result from these discussions.

This is clearly in response to Carl Icahn’s bid to replace the Yahoo board and bring the company back to the table at Yahoo, and continued speculation that Yahoo may jump into bed with Google on a search deal.

Ed: Mr. Arrington works on weekends.

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