Microsoft Corp. has finally roped Yahoo Inc. into an Internet search partnership, capping a convoluted cat-and-mouse game that dragged on for years, according to an Associated Press report. The 10-year deal announced Wednesday gives Microsoft access to the Internet’s second-largest search engine audience, adding a potentially potent weapon to the software maker’s Internet arsenal as it girds for an all-out assault against online search and advertising leader Google Inc. The extended reach will allow Microsoft to introduce its recently upgraded search engine, called Bing, to more consumers. The Redmond, Wash.-based software maker believes Bing is just as good, if not better, than Google’s search engine. Taking over the search responsibilities on Yahoo’s highly trafficked site gives Microsoft a better chance to convert Web surfers who had been using Google by force of habit. "Microsoft and Yahoo know there’s so much more that search could be," said Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer. "This agreement gives us the scale and resources to create the future of search." In return for turning over the keys to its search engine, Yahoo will get to keep 88 percent of the revenue from all search ad sales on its site for the first five years of the deal, and will have the right to sell ads on some Microsoft sites.

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