Once adversaries, Yahoo and activist investor Carl Icahn are buddying up after the two
Icahn, who had proposed his own slate of board members, was agitating for the company to reach a deal to sell all or part of the company to Microsoft. Icahn and Microsoft officials had previously stated that they could not work with the existing Yahoo board.
As part of the settlement, Icahn, who owns about 68.7 million shares, or 4.98 percent of Yahoo common stock, has agreed to withdraw his nominees for consideration at the annual meeting and to vote his Yahoo shares in support of the board's nominees.
After months of exchanging barbs with Icahn, Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang has told employees in a memo that he's looking forward to the "
Monday's note contrasts with an e-mail Yang
Microsoft moves on
Following the Yahoo-Icahn settlement, CEO Steve Ballmer said Microsoft's on-again, off-again talks with Yahoo are
"Now we aren't (talking) and that's where things are," Ballmer said, speaking at Microsoft's financial analyst meeting. "There is nothing under discussion between the two of us."
At this point, it appears that Icahn won't be helping Microsoft take over Yahoo any time soon. And Microsoft has some issues of its own to address. One of those tasks will be replacing Kevin Johnson, Microsoft's online and Windows chief and a key figure in the company's failed Yahoo takeover effort, who is
As chief of Windows and Windows Live, Johnson spearheaded Microsoft's revamped online search and advertising strategy, which is considered key if Microsoft is to catch Google in the online search arena. He outlined the new strategy in a memo to his team in May while Microsoft was actively pursuing Yahoo. The takeover of Yahoo was expected to be a big boost to that effort.
There was some good news for Microsoft in another arena:
More troubling for Microsoft may be the fact that most of those Vista installs are replacing versions of Windows other than Windows XP, which remains popular with both businesses and consumers. Forrester says 87.1 percent of companies surveyed continue to use Windows XP.
Microsoft has been touting the fact that Vista adoption is actually on par with past releases, pointing to some new customers, such as the U.S. Air Force. But even some of the company's showcase early adopter customers are moving more slowly to Vista than originally planned.
However, after months of searching for ways to defend its oft-maligned Windows operating system,
Spurred by an e-mail from someone deep in the marketing ranks, Microsoft rounded up Windows XP users who had negative impressions of Vista. The subjects were put on video, asked about their impressions about Vista, and then shown a "new" operating system, code-named Mojave. More than 90 percent gave positive feedback on what they saw. Then they were told that "Mojave" was actually Windows Vista.
To be sure, the focus groups didn't have to install Vista or hook it up to their existing home network. But the emotional appeal of the "everyman" trying Vista and liking it clearly packs an emotional punch, something the company has desperately needed. Microsoft is still trying to figure out just how it will use the Mojave footage in its marketing, though it will clearly have a place.
Meanwhile, Windows unit head Bill Veghte said
"The product is tracking very, very well," Veghte said. "We are committed and looking good, relative to our commitment--(shipping Windows 7) three years from general availability of Windows Vista."
An Apple a day
Apple is still shining,
Mac sales were about in line with expectations, at 2.5 million units shipped during the quarter, and iPod shipments were actually a little higher than expected, at 11 million units. Mac shipments grew 41 percent, while iPod shipments grew 12 percent.
However, Apple continued to have
Apple's MobileMe support page has a note, even as of Friday morning, that says "1 percent of MobileMe members cannot access MobileMe Mail. Service will be restored ASAP. We apologize for this service interruption and are working hard to resolve the problem."
It's just the latest in a series of problems that has plagued the launch of MobileMe, a $99-a-year service that lets you access contacts, calendars, and other files from one computer on other Macs or PCs, as well as your iPhone.
Apple was also forced this week to
Some have suggested--without a shred of evidence--that the launch issues with MobileMe and the iPhone 3G might be the result of poor oversight from Jobs due to his health. However, CNET News' Tom Krazit argues, the only responsibility that Apple's board of directors has to its shareholders is to make sure that Steve Jobs' health is not a liability, and disclosing anything beyond that would be a mistake.
Also of note