Articles of the Day

Microsoft Reveals Post-Windows Plan — Microsoft has kicked off a research project to create software that will take over when it retires Windows. Called Midori, the cut-down operating system is radically different to Microsoft’s older programs. It is centred on the internet and does away with the dependencies that tie Windows to a single PC. It is seen as Microsoft’s answer to rivals’ use of “virtualisation” as a way to solve many of the problems of modern-day computing.

Yahoo Vote Reveals 85% Back CEO Yang And 76% Support Current Directors As Chairman Defends Stance On Microsoft — Yahoo’s shareholders have demonstrated their support for the California-based internet company yesterday at its AGM, The Times reported. The report from the meeting, said shareholders controlling 85% of shares voted to support chief executive Jerry Yang while 76% backed the current slate of nine directors. The item quoted Roy Bostock, chairman, who defended himself against allegations he mishandled a USD 47bn takeover proposal earlier this year from the software giant Microsoft. Bostock said the Yahoo board had always been open to doing a deal, had actively engaged with Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft and had never resisted the idea of the proposed transaction. He added that shareholder value had been discussed at every meeting between the two sides. He went on to say that Microsoft had not formally presented Yahoo with the prospect of an increased offer, although a slightly revised bid was mentioned verbally in a casual way. He added that he did not have any idea why Microsoft ultimately walked away from the negotiations, the item reported. It said he also believed Microsoft had never fully engaged with Yahoo when it requested deeper talks on a potential alliance.

GE: No Plans To Sell NBC Universal — General Electric Co (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has no plans to sell its NBC Universal media unit and is on track to double its China annual revenue to $10 billion by 2010, a top executive said on Monday. Some investors have said they would like Chief Executive Jeff Immelt to consider selling NBC after the Olympics because it is growing more slowly than GE’s infrastructure businesses. NBC, which is 80 percent-owned by GE, is broadcasting the August 8-24 Games in the United States. France’s Vivendi (VIV.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) holds the remaining 20 percent of the media company. GE has generated $1.7 billion of total revenues from Olympics-related business, of which $1 billion is from advertisements for NBC and $700 million from other GE divisions, she said. Her predecessor, Daniel Henson, said in July 2007 that GE expected $500-$600 million worth of revenue from the Olympics. GE generated $150 million of the extra business by dangling the Beijing Games as an incentive for its sales teams, Comstock added.

AOL Relaunches Video Site — AOL is relaunching its AOL Video portal today with new features and increased integration into the Web giant’s varying programming sites. Timed to the second anniversary of the original launch, the newly redesigned site provides access to over 200 million videos and a new feature to assist in finding relevant clips, as well as new advertising capabilities.

AOL’s Dial-Up and Portal Split Done; Cue Up the Candidates — Time Warner has completed the financial work necessary to split AOL’s business into two: one its fast-declining dial-up business, and the other one is a mix of its portal and advertising businesses. The process was started earlier this year, and was delayed by about a month, but will now be announced this Wednesday along with TW’s Q208 earnings, reports WSJ. The company has indicated it wants to sell off the dial-up part, and EarthLink indicated last week it wants to buy it. As for the portal-ad side of the business, with the Yahoo-Microsoft possibilities diminished, AOL (NYSE: TWX) is a target for both the companies.

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