Google’s AOL Investment a Likely New Strategy for Partnerships

Take a look at BusinessWeek’s fascinating summary of the events that led up to the Google/AOL deal.

It’s interesting to note that while billionaire Time Warner investor Carl Icahn is calling the Google deal a bad thing for those looking to see AOL broken-up and sold, he was the one pushing for the deal instead of one with Microsoft.

Microsoft and Time Warner had been discussing a joint venture that would have tethered the companies’ fortunes more deeply. Had that deal gone through, it would have been harder to peel AOL away from its parent. Icahn was pushing Time Warner in the direction of Google, according to a person close to the discussions. By the morning of Dec. 16, Time Warner execs notified their Microsoft counterparts that they were entering exclusive talks with Google.

What Did you Google in 2005?

Google has just revealed their 2005 year-end Google Zeitgeist (def).

Looks like Wikipedia is in for a strong 2006. With this much interest, can it remain a non-profit or will Google come courting?

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Lexar USB Drives to Add Google Products

Lexar Media and Google have reached a deal which will see Google’s search tools pre-installed on Lexar’s USB JumpDrives.

“While these popular applications have traditionally been available on the Web directly from Google and other Web affiliates, offering them on a Lexar JumpDrive provides a new channel to reach customers,” said Steffen Hellmold, vice president of USB flash drives at Lexar.

Customers who use a JumpDrive would plug the device into a USB port on their computer, where they can choose to automatically install Google products. Lexar said it expects the offering to make it easier for users to search documents, photos, music and other data stored on their JumpDrive.

Let’s hope that “choose to automatically install Google products” is clearly labelled. Do you know how many times Adobe has tried to install Yahoo’s toolbar each time I update? Sheesh.

Technorati Adds New Features

Dave Sifry is determined to make Technorati the most used blog search engine on the planet. With the launch of some great new features, it’s hard not to be popular.

New trend charts and improved extracts are just some of the new features Dave discusses on the Technorati blog.

A Google Christmas Carol

Kalena helps you keep track of Google’s milestones during 2005 with her special tribute “The Twelve Days of Christmas, Google Style“.

Yahoo Offers Search Open Shortcuts

Yahoo has had Search Shortcuts for a while now. Prefix your search by “!” and you could take a shortcut to your favorite Yahoo content.

They’ve decided to open up Shortcuts so that searchers can create their own favorite custom keywords. To get you started, Yahoo has created some new custom shortcuts for you.

* Navigation example, type: !my to navigate to “http://my.yahoo.com”
* Common Searches example, type: !wsf to search “weather san francisco” on Yahoo!
* Search example, type: !wiki rozier to search for “rozier” on Wikipedia
* Application example, type: !mail bill@yahoo.com to compose a Y! Mail to “bill@yahoo.com”

Concerns Raised With AOL’s $1 billion Google Deal

Verne Kopytoff of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that not everyone is excited about AOL’s deal with Google.

Concern #1 – Selling 5% ownership may scare away potential suitor.

“…billionaire investor Carl Icahn called the plan potentially disastrous and said another company may be a more lucrative partner…in a letter to the board Monday, Icahn told directors they “may be on the verge of making a disastrous decision.” Any agreement with Google that precludes a future merger or transaction with another company would be a breach of their duty, he said.”

Concern #2 – Exactly how will Google help AOL content do better in the search result?

Google’s claiming that they’re not going to give AOL anything to too juicy…