Microsoft Abandons Yahoo Acquisition

One year ago today was the first time I ever mentioned the idea of Microsoft acquiring Yahoo, at that time Microsoft had gone public with it but in February of this year Microsoft formally announced that they were offering $44.6 billion to acquire Yahoo.

Microsoft then made a deadline for Yahoo to respond, which then ended and the story seemed to drag on forever. Yesterday it all ended when Microsoft officially abandoned the Yahoo acquisition.

“We continue to believe that our proposed acquisition made sense for Microsoft, Yahoo and the market as a whole. Our goal in pursuing a combination with Yahoo was to provide greater choice and innovation in the marketplace and create real value for our respective stockholders and employees,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in a statement distributed early Saturday evening.

Microsoft had raised the initial bid to $33 per share but that didn’t sway Yahoo which wanted $37 per share. “After careful consideration, we believe the economics demanded by Yahoo do not make sense for us, and it is in the best interests of Microsoft stockholders, employees and other stakeholders to withdraw our proposal,” said Ballmer.

Yahoo has issued a statement saying that they do still believe that the offer was too low and that many shareholders agreed with that position.

I am a little surprised by this, I at least expected Microsoft to “attempt” a hostile takeover (the only reason I use “” around attempt is because I believe it would have been a half hearted attempt). But, I also think that this was their best decision, having to deal with the merger of two monoliths would have been a nightmare and might have given Google enough time to pull ahead even further.

Although I’ve heard that some analysts may be thinking that this is just Microsoft’s way of waiting until the Yahoo stock price tanks and then trying to either do a hostile takeover anyway or offer another acquisition bid, but I hardly see that happening especially since I don’t believe Microsoft ever really wanted Yahoo to beginning with.


CTL Announces Ultraportable Notebook For $350

Here comes another one of those oh so popular ultraportable notebooks, this time it is made by CTL (maker of the Classmate 2) and is called the IL1 and is so far the cheapest ultraportable I’ve seen, priced at $350.

Via C7-M 1GHz processor
7″ LED-backlit LCD (800×480)
Integrated graphics
VGA output for second monitor
4GB solid state drive
2x USB ports
802.11b/g Wifi
1x RJ-45 10/100 Ethernet
56K Modem
SD/MMC Memory Card Reader
Windows XP or Linux
Integrated 640×480 webcam

Dimensions & Power
9.6″ x 6.8″ x 1.7″
4-cell Li-Ion Battery
About 4.5 hours battery life

CTL [viaGizmodo]

The Microsoft Yahoo Deal Is Tiring.

It’s possible that this Microsoft Yahoo deal might actually happen, the New York Times says that Microsoft has upped the original $44.6 billion bid by “several dollars.” The NYT didn’t say exactly by how much and the quote is from an unnamed source but at least they are talking.

I still personally don’t want this to happen and actually don’t think it will anyway. Steve Balmer has already said that they could build the advertising network that they are trying to get without buying Yahoo, basically saying that they don’t really need Yahoo, and Bill Gates has said many times that they aren’t going to raise the bid. But, as I mentioned earlier they did raise their bid so who knows what will truly happen at this point in the game.

I still subscribe to the idea that John C. Dvorak has said several times, the EU won’t let this happen because of antitrust issues. Microsoft may convince Yahoo to finally concede and become one with Microsoft but because the EU has seemed to have it out for Microsoft for so long and will hit them for antitrust.

This whole Microsoft Yahoo thing is so confusing and Microsoft has never really seemed like they were trying that hard to acquire Yahoo. It is hard to draw any conclusions from this news. To be honest with you, the deal is just tiring, I wish Microsoft would get it through its thick Steve Balmer shaped skull that they DON’T need to be in advertising and if they spent as much time improving their software as they do talking about how they are going to do a hostile take over of Yahoo, their OS and Office would be undoubtedly the best products in the software segment that they sit in.

Microsoft give up, and save us all from the frustrations of trying to figure out how these two companies with such differing corporate cultures would ever assimilate into one another and quit it.

New York Times

Hitachi’s 1.5″ Thick LCD HDTVs now Available in the US

Hitachi’s UltraThin 1.5 family that was shown off at CES is finally available in the US. The brand new and super thin HDTVs are available in 32″, 37″, 42″, and 47″. The TVs are priced between $1,799 and $4,699 and come with either a 1 year or two year warranty (depending on whether you get the Director’s Series or the Ultra Vision model).

The TVs come in 720p or 1080p (depending on which model you get) and each of the TVs (except the 32″ models) offer 120Hz technologies for smoother picture quality in fast motion.

Press Release

Categorized as HDTV

Quite Possibly Pictures of the Next iPhone?

French iPhone blog got these pictures sent to them anonymously and from what we already know about how the iPhone is supposed to look it seems to fit the bill pretty well.

It doesn’t look like it’s Photoshopped to me but it is still possible that this is just another iPhone knockoff.

If it is real, then this may be the reason for me to buy a new iPhone, although it doesn’t look like there are any added features that are all that interesting, there is just something nice about the look of this. It looks considerably shorter than the current iPhone and because there is less framing around the display it just looks smaller.

Template of Next Generation iPhone Leaks From accessory Makers

The weak spot in Apple’s armor has almost always been the other companies that Apple works with, almost every time their is some sort of leak of a new product it isn’t by an Apple employee but by an employee of a company Apple is working with.

This time it is with the accessory makers, Apple sends information to them letting them know how they should design cases to put iPods or iPhones in and this time it leaked out in the form of a template showing what to expect the next iPhone to look like, design wise.

The next iPhone will have the same size screen but looks to also be available in white and possibly red. The next iPhone will also have some different curves on the sides and bottom but looks to be about the same size as the current iPhone.

Something else that is odd is that the current iPhone has two sensors above the speaker, a proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor but in this template it seems to show 3 sensors, or maybe the same two sensors and a small camera, which would prove Kevin Rose’s weird rumor of video iChat on the phone a possibility. It would also make me wrong, when Kevin Rose first talked about this I said this:

“I don’t think that there will be a camera on the front of the phone for video chatting, who the heck wants to video chat on their phone? Not me.” –Me

Now to talk about that 2.8″ screen iPhone for a second, I’m not sure whether I really buy it, changing the size of the screen on the iPhone will ruin a lot of what developers have been working on for months, all of these applications for the iPhone are being built with the 3.5″ screen in mind, the same goes for the web developers. But, then again I’m sure it is possible for Apple to purchase 2.8″ displays with the same resolution as the 3.5″ iPhone displays, but don’t forget that when you increase pixel density of a screen things start to get smaller and smaller, especially text and I don’t think Apple would want to sell a product where every user would have to struggle to read anything on the screen.


AT&T Gives Free Wifi to iPhone Users In It’s 71,000 Hotspots

AT&T hotspots are now offering free Wifi access to iPhone users. Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, and AT&T’s other Wifi hotspot locations are now offering iPhone users a custom portal to access free Wifi. All you have to do is input your iPhone’s phone number and you can access the Wifi for free.

AT&T recently took over as the provider of Wifi hotspots from the previous provider of T-Mobile for 7,000+ Starbucks nationwide. AT&T had already announced that current AT&T broadband customers would also have free access and would “soon extend the benefits of Wifi at Starbucks to its wireless customers,” but up until now no signs of it had come about.

What’s great about this news is that if you have an iPhone but would also like to access the Wifi for free on your notebook, you can change the user agent of your browser to the iPhone’s User Agent and by inputing a valid iPhone phone number you will also get access on your notebook.


Get the iPhone Ad Ringtone Here

Ever wondered why the ringtone used in the iPhone ads isn’t available on the iPhone? No, me neither but now that someone has brought it to my attention that the iPhone ad uses a ringtone that isn’t on the iPhone I wonder why it doesn’t come on the phone.

But, oh well, the ringtone may actually already be on your Mac right now, if you have iLife ’08 installed you can find the ringtone here:

/Library/Audio/Apple Loops/Apple/iLife Sound Effects/Work – Home/Cell Phone Ringing.aif

You could go looking for it on your hard drive, pull it into Garageband and then export it as an iPhone ringtone but why not save yourself some trouble and just download it here.

After the file is downloaded, change the file extension to .m4r, double click on it, sync your iPhone, and your done.


AT&T Announces Mobile TV Service Starts May 4th

AT&T officially launches their new mobile TV service today and will be available on May 4th. The service uses MediaFLO technology which means that it uses a separate network devoted entirely to the TV signal.

The service will be launching in 58 markets and unfortunately, I do not live in one of those markets, so I have to show you other peoples experience with it. The lineup will include 10 stations total and there will be 2 phones available that support the service, the LG Vu and the Samsung Access.

It will be priced at $13 for 4 channels, $15 for unlimited access to all channels, and $30 for unlimited access to Mobile TV and mobile web access.

“The quality of the video is very good. If you’re in an area where you don’t get many “bars,” you may start to see some digital breakup. There’s an antenna that sticks out of the top of the phone to improve reception but it can be pushed back when when you’re not using the TV service. The channel selection is good but I’d like to see more channels and more live networks instead of the re-purposed programming.”-MyFoxUtah

AT&T Press Release

Would You Pay $499.99 For The Garmin Nuvifone?

An Engadget reader sent them a screenshot of a Garmin Survey asking the following question:

“Now, how likely would you be to buy the Garmin Nuvifone (for yourself or as a gift) if offered by AT&T for $499.99 with a two year contract? You would be required to have both a data plan that would include unlimited internet browsing and unlimited Navigation for $19.99 per month and one of the standard voice rate plans for a monthly fee.”

Remember that the Garmin Nuvifone has a 3.5″ touchscreen, 3.5G data, Wifi, GPS navigation, audio and video playback, and a 3 megapixel camera.

I personally think that $499.99 would be a pretty good deal, I bought my iPhone for $599 and later got the $100 back from Apple so effectively I paid $499 for my iPhone, on paper the Nuvifone seems to be better than the iPhone but I think that when June hits and the App Store is installed on millions of iPhones the iPhone is going to be pretty far ahead of the nuvifone.

But, this isn’t the Nuvifone vs. the iPhone it is the question of whether or not you would pay $499.99 for the Garmin Nuvifone. Considering the fact that a decent GPS navigation system is roughly $300-$400 I think paying an extra $100-$200 to get a cell phone built in is a great price.

I would pay $499.99 for the Garmin Nuvifone (but I’d still rather just stick with my iPhone instead and save the money to buy some applications for the iPhone).

More Garmin Nuvifone Coverage on CyberSurge