Following the footsteps of Bing, Google also yesterday added a background image to its otherwise clean white homepage, naturally many people were disappointed and frustrated over this change and appeared frantic to remove the background image from Google homepage.
Fortunately the removing of the background image is very simple and just takes one click to do that
One the Google homepage with background image click the “Remove background image” link which appears in the bottom-left

Google is known for its minimalist and clean design of homepage so that was a big change for Google, however throwing it over user like this was not the right way to follow, they should have just give an option to user which allowed them to have a background image and if majority of users started using the background image thing than may be Google could have rolled out this feature for everyone

For the amount of 44.6bn dollars Microsoft has offered to take Yahoo! , there has been no comment from Yahoo! on the offer .

If the deal goes through than it will mean a lot more competition for Google in the Search Engine industry and the market share of Microsoft search will come at par with Google .

Following is the text of letter sent to Yahoo! board of directors from Microsoft

January 31, 2008

Board of Directors
Yahoo! Inc.

701 First Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94089

Attention: Roy Bostock, Chairman
Attention: Jerry Yang, Chief Executive Officer

Dear Members of the Board:
I am writing on behalf of the Board of Directors of Microsoft to make a proposal for a business combination of Microsoft and Yahoo!. Under our proposal, Microsoft would acquire all of the outstanding shares of Yahoo! common stock for per share consideration of $31 based on Microsoft’s closing share price on January 31, 2008, payable in the form of $31 in cash or 0.9509 of a share of Microsoft common stock. Microsoft would provide each Yahoo! shareholder with the ability to choose whether to receive the consideration in cash or Microsoft common stock, subject to pro-ration so that in the aggregate one-half of the Yahoo! common shares will be exchanged for shares of Microsoft common stock and one-half of the Yahoo! common shares will be converted into the right to receive cash. Our proposal is not subject to any financing condition.
Our proposal represents a 62% premium above the closing price of Yahoo! common stock of $19.18 on January 31, 2008. The implied premium for the operating assets of the company clearly is considerably greater when adjusted for the minority, non-controlled assets and cash. By whatever financial measure you use – EBITDA, free cash flow, operating cash flow, net income, or analyst target prices – this proposal represents a compelling value realization event for your shareholders.
We believe that Microsoft common stock represents a very attractive investment opportunity for Yahoo!’s shareholders. Microsoft has generated revenue growth of 15%, earnings growth of 26%, and a return on equity of 35% on average for the last three years. Microsoft’s share price has generated shareholder returns of 8% during the last one year period and 28% during the last three year period, significantly outperforming the S&P 500. It is our view that Microsoft has significant potential upside given the continued solid growth in our core businesses, the recent launch of Windows Vista, and other strategic initiatives.
Microsoft’s consistent belief has been that the combination of Microsoft and Yahoo! clearly represents the best way to deliver maximum value to our respective shareholders, as well as create a more efficient and competitive company that would provide greater value and service to our customers. In late 2006 and early 2007, we jointly explored a broad range of ways in which our two companies might work together. These discussions were based on a vision that the online businesses of Microsoft and Yahoo! should be aligned in some way to create a more effective competitor in the online marketplace. We discussed a number of alternatives ranging from commercial partnerships to a merger proposal, which you rejected. While a commercial partnership may have made sense at one time, Microsoft believes that the only alternative now is the combination of Microsoft and Yahoo! that we are proposing.
In February 2007, I received a letter from your Chairman indicating the view of the Yahoo! Board that “now is not the right time from the perspective of our shareholders to enter into discussions regarding an acquisition transaction.” According to that letter, the principal reason for this view was the Yahoo! Board’s confidence in the “potential upside” if management successfully executed on a reformulated strategy based on certain operational initiatives, such as Project Panama, and a significant organizational realignment. A year has gone by, and the competitive situation has not improved.
While online advertising growth continues, there are significant benefits of scale in advertising platform economics, in capital costs for search index build-out, and in research and development, making this a time of industry consolidation and convergence. Today, the market is increasingly dominated by one player who is consolidating its dominance through acquisition. Together, Microsoft and Yahoo! can offer a credible alternative for consumers, advertisers, and publishers. Synergies of this combination fall into four areas:
Scale economics: This combination enables synergies related to scale economics of the advertising platform where today there is only one competitor at scale. This includes synergies across both search and non-search related advertising that will strengthen the value proposition to both advertisers and publishers. Additionally, the combination allows us to consolidate capital spending.
Expanded R&D capacity: The combined talent of our engineering resources can be focused on R&D priorities such as a single search index and single advertising platform. Together we can unleash new levels of innovation, delivering enhanced user experiences, breakthroughs in search, and new advertising platform capabilities. Many of these breakthroughs are a function of an engineering scale that today neither of our companies has on its own.
Operational efficiencies: Eliminating redundant infrastructure and duplicative operating costs will improve the financial performance of the combined entity.
Emerging user experiences: Our combined ability to focus engineering resources that drive innovation in emerging scenarios such as video, mobile services, online commerce, social media, and social platforms is greatly enhanced.
We would value the opportunity to further discuss with you how to optimize the integration of our respective businesses to create a leading global technology company with exceptional display and search advertising capabilities. You should also be aware that we intend to offer significant retention packages to your engineers, key leaders and employees across all disciplines.
We have dedicated considerable time and resources to an analysis of a potential transaction and are confident that the combination will receive all necessary regulatory approvals. We look forward to discussing this with you, and both our internal legal team and outside counsel are available to meet with your counsel at their earliest convenience.
Our proposal is subject to the negotiation of a definitive merger agreement and our having the opportunity to conduct certain limited and confirmatory due diligence. In addition, because a portion of the aggregate merger consideration would consist of Microsoft common stock, we would provide Yahoo! the opportunity to conduct appropriate limited due diligence with respect to Microsoft. We are prepared to deliver a draft merger agreement to you and begin discussions immediately.
In light of the significance of this proposal to your shareholders and ours, as well as the potential for selective disclosures, our intention is to publicly release the text of this letter tomorrow morning.
Due to the importance of these discussions and the value represented by our proposal, we expect the Yahoo! Board to engage in a full review of our proposal. My leadership team and I would be happy to make ourselves available to meet with you and your Board at your earliest convenience. Depending on the nature of your response, Microsoft reserves the right to pursue all necessary steps to ensure that Yahoo!’s shareholders are provided with the opportunity to realize the value inherent in our proposal.
We believe this proposal represents a unique opportunity to create significant value for Yahoo!’s shareholders and employees, and the combined company will be better positioned to provide an enhanced value proposition to users and advertisers. We hope that you and your Board share our enthusiasm, and we look forward to a prompt and favorable reply.

Sincerely yours,

/s/ Steven A. Ballmer
Steven A. Ballmer
Chief Executive Officer
Microsoft Corporation

Almost all of the top notch email providers have their WAP portals from where you can login to your account and check your emails, but Google and Gmail have went one step ahead and produced a nifty java application which you can install on your mobile to access your email, it saves your account’s info so you don’t need to enter that over and over gain and has almost all the features which you can expect from a scaled own mobile application. Loads cleanly and quickly and also saves you money as you only transfer the necessary information given that the application which renders to information is already there at your mobile. It also much more secure than FastMail WAP access as I have noticed that Fastnail WAP access keeps your username and password is kept in the URL all the time without any sort of encoding or hiding, so anyone who has access to the server logs or even someone who can see your browsing history can see your account details in plain text.

Remember the G Browser rumor ? the new news is that Google to Buy Opera
Yep this has been flying around in many forums and tech news websites. Recently Google has been madly promoting Firfox so if it actually buys Opera than it will create a very interesting situation.
In any case this means trouble for MS 🙂

Google had bought Urchin back in March this year and now as expected it has started to give out its stats for free, anyone can signup and put code in their pages to get them tacked by Google.
Although Google already have all the stats for websites running adwords and Adsense but still I am a bit reluctant to put the stats code in my pages, it feel like giving too much information in Google’s hands, may be I am becoming too sceptical of things

Meanwhile all the webmasters had gone crazy after Google Analytics so for now Google had to suspended its signups for sometime… may be they need to add some more servers

Oh yeah, it has hurt me too, I am seeing huge drop in rankings for my established websites, SERPs have been really strange for almost 15 days now. I can see directory sites and even Yahoo! Groups without any members ranking over me with keywords for which I have been optimizing for well over a year.

The results have not settled down yet, when they do I just hope that they are not as bad as they are right now.
Everyone wish me luck for SERPs 🙂

Its old news now but I had not posted about it, apparently it seems a move to counter the AIM/AOL IM market share as they have about 50% of it.
Or may be both Yahoo! and MSN did not want to lose any user base to Google Talk?

With MSN and Yahoo tying up their users will be able to swap messages between both networks

Google and Sun are to make StarOffice apps available to Google users.

The decision will be part of a larger technology partnership between Sun and Google that will build a network to provide Web-based apps, in competition with Microsoft.

A joint conference between the two giants and their CEOs is taking place later today in California where the news will be officially released.

Company representatives have been tight-lipped, causing rampant speculation – most of it of the usual kill-Microsoft kind. Microsoft has made no bones about its aim to unseat Google as the leading search-engine company. Sun, too, sees Microsoft as one of its chief rivals in the software market, and has been having trouble getting widespread adoption of its software portfolio, including its answer of Microsoft Office – StarOffice.

The company has just released a new version of StarOffice that includes better inter-operation with Microsoft Office.

Sun also believes it has momentum for StarOffice. In particular, a recent decision by the US state of Massachusetts will see its government agencies move to open office file formats – which Microsoft Office currently do not support.

A deal between Google and Sun could give Google the technology it needs to rival Microsoft in providing applications as services, while giving Sun an edge in the applications business.

I had downloaded and installed the Google Chat client the same day as it was released, since than with every reboot it automatically gets signed in with my saved username and password.
I haven’t put it to any use as I don’t have any contact at gmail with whom I can chat.
The UI seems a bit to simple as compared to MSN or Yahoo Messenger but hopefully Google will improve this in the final release ( remember this

    too

is in Beta )