Google Seeks to Stop Microsoft's Yahoo Bid

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Google officials are moving quickly to thwart Microsoft's unsolicited $44.6 billion offer for Yahoo. Google's CEO called his counterpart at Yahoo to offer Google's help in keeping Microsoft at bay.


Google is moving quickly to thwart a possible merger between two of its rivals, Microsoft and Yahoo. Software giant Microsoft is offering nearly $45 billion for the Internet search icon, Yahoo. The move was announced on Friday and it's aimed at toppling Google's dominance in the market for Internet search and online ad revenues. Google has not only denounced the deal as potentially anti-competitive, but Google's CEO called the CEO of Yahoo on the phone to offer his company's help in keeping Microsoft at bay.

And speaking of Internet search engines, this could be the last month for a browser whose name may still bring back memories. Netscape Navigator revolutionized the Internet in the 1990s, but AOL, Netscape's current owner says it's pulling the plug and ending software support. Fans may be disappointed, but many have already migrated to a Netscape successor.

NPR's Elaine Korry reports.

ELAINE KORRY: Soon, AOL, which bought Netscape a decade ago will stop supporting this scrappy browser that introduced web surfing to the masses. Rob Enderle, chief technology analyst with the Enderle Group is sad to see it go.

Mr. ROB ENDERLE (Enderle Group): Netscape changed the world. Unfortunately it wasn't able to save itself.

KORRY: Microsoft's Internet Explorer now rules the browser world with a commanding 76 percent market share, according to the data firm, Net Applications. But Netscape lives on Firefox, a browser offered free by the non-profit, Mozilla, which was spun off from AOL. Enderle says Firefox is in second place with a nearly 17 percent market share.

Mr. ENDERLE: Firefox is the new Netscape, and probably it represents in some way what Netscape should've always been, kind of a community approach to getting on the web.

KORRY: With its open source code, Enderle says any programmer with good ideas can improve Firefox, and he says that user friendliness should ensure its hold on consumers who want an alternative to Microsoft.

Elaine Korry, NPR News, San Francisco.

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