Steve Ballmer’s Internal Email Explains Yahoo Bid

It seems like only yesterday Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer was busy convincing the world that he was not interested in making a bid for Yahoo.

Now TechCrunch has an internal company email that explains why Microsoft today made an unsolicited bid for the company.

It reads in part:

By combining the strengths of our companies, we can deliver an efficient and highly competitive offering for our customers. Our complementary assets will give us increased talent and scale to compete in the markets of search and online advertising, and pioneer new innovations in the areas of video, mobile services, online commerce, and social media.

Need a Place to Stay During the Super Bowl? Try CraigsList

Craigslist is creating a micromarket for home rentals for sports fans. With two more days until the Super Bowl, it may be too late to find a place to stay. Hotels are booked, so people are turning to Craigslist. Enterprising residents in Phoenix and Boston are putting their homes for rent during the game. This reminds me of the Sundance Film festival and the Olympics.

Wired reports that in Boston there were 700 postings on for accommodations and perks, and thousands of listings in Phoenix. Some people are offering use of their car with the deal. Or someone offered to be your designated driver in case you get too plastered to drive home. It sounded like some of the ads were fellow fans who were not only willing to help with accommodations, but also willing to join in and party with you.

Microsoft Pounces on Yahoo’s Weak Q4, Makes $44.6B Offer

Well, maybe there’s some good news to come out of Yahoo’s recent poor financial performance after all–Microsoft wants to buy it for $44.6 billion.

Nobody really saw this coming–you can’t count general speculation–so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Microsoft offered $31 per share in cash and stock, representing a 62% premium on Yahoo’s recent stock price.

As AP reports:

Under terms of the proposed deal, Yahoo shareholders could choose to receive cash or Microsoft common shares, with the total purchase consisting of 50 percent each cash and stock.

Microsoft said it sees at least $1 billion cost savings generated by the merger, and intends to offer significant retention packages to Yahoo engineers, key leaders and employees. The software giant said it believes the takeover would receive regulatory clearance and close in the second half of 2008.

Is Social Search Coming from Google?

VentureBeat talked to Google’s Marissa Mayer, vice president of Search Products & User Experience, about Google’s future: specifically about their future in social search. VentureBeat notes that as recently as August, Mayer “said social search hasn’t shown much promise, but if it does, Google would be in a good position to incorporate it.”

VB’s reporter asks some pretty good questions (which he admits he had help on), although he didn’t ask about the progress that Google has already made in creating social networks in Gmail and Google Reader.

Perhaps most interesting from her comments is a brief history and potential forecast of social search efforts at Google. However, there is one part that privacy advocates are sure to jump on (bolded here).