Friday, May 30, 2008

IT SECTOR: passion for Corporations

Last month the spring, barely begun, immediately brought some unexpected news. And chief among them, of course, was the news of the sudden capitulation of Microsoft, was never able to overcome Layered defence Yahoo. So, the confrontation ended with Microsoft and Yahoo. And a very unexpected way: Microsoft simply withdrew the proposal for purchasing portal. But recently the software giant Yahoo has promised to absorb any cost.

The day before Microsoft even withdrawing the proposal to increase the amount proposed for the portal, for five billion dollars. Suddenly, May 3, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sent an official letter Yahoo leadership of conscientious objection to the transaction. Press office in Redmond said: "After with colleagues, Steve Ballmer came to the conclusion that the conditions put forward by Yahoo unreasonable. Therefore, in the interests of shareholders and employees of Microsoft proposal to purchase Yahoo withdrawn ". At the ensuing press conference Ballmer thanked KazUpack Jerry Yang of Yahoo spent discussing the details of the transaction time and regretted that the search engine not accepted the offer Microsoft. In addition, Ballmer stressed - is not the first time - that Microsoft has all the necessary resources, and the corporation will develop their own online business. Let me remind you that the price issue - a huge market for online advertising. According to Microsoft, in 2007 the market totaled $ 40 billion, and by 2010 this figure will rise to $ 80 billion Today the best deal with Internet advertising situation with Google. In December 2007 - the share of Google had 62% of global search queries. But, of course, buy Google in Microsoft did not even dream of. It seemed to all Yahoo would be easier. When the proposal came from Microsoft on the purchase, what the stars search engine number two went no better. Share Yahoo search on the market every six months decreased to 1-1,5% to 12.8%. Cases same Microsoft search went on the market from the hands of poorly won - the proportion of companies stood at 5.2% and every six months declined by 2-3%.

After two months of confrontation Yahoo and Microsoft are connected to events and other market participants. Company News Corp., Mediamagnatu owned by Rupert Murdoch, began to negotiate with Microsoft on joint buying Yahoo. Yahoo, in turn, agreed to strengthen their positions by chief rival - Google. The latter received the right to place contextual advertising on the site Yahoo. Both companies stressed that this pilot project, but if it is successful completion of such cooperation can be continued. Moreover, Yahoo has actively negotiated the merger with AOL. The company Time Warner, which owns AOL, was ready to swap $ 10 billion for 20% stake in the combined company Yahoo!-AOL. Although AOL is not experiencing the best times, it remains a huge advertising platform. Today services company enjoyed about 10 million people. But perhaps the most self-confidence Yahoo gave financial outcome I quarter 2008 - first. Net profit search engine for the first three months of this year amounted to $ 542 million A year ago this figure was equal to $ 142 million Revenue rose from $ 1.67 billion to $ 1.82 billion Incidentally, it was after the publication of first quarter financial outcome for the first time Steve Ballmer said that Microsoft is ready to grow and without Yahoo, if the purchase proposal will be rejected.

Operationally Yahoo press release states that after Microsoft withdrew from buying Yahoo, the Internet company intends to concentrate all efforts on increasing profitability and how to capture greater market share of online advertising. The Director-General of Yahoo Jerry Yang said that prides itself on its team cohesion which helped win in the three-month confrontation with Microsoft. Yang said that Yahoo will use its unique capacity and market position with the maximum benefit for shareholders, employees, partners and users. In turn, Chairman of the Board of Directors Yahoo Roy Bostok outlined the main directions of development of the company. Among them - increasing market share and profitability of Yahoo, the concentration of efforts on the most promising industries and investments in innovative technologies. Shares traded NASDAQ Yahoo May 5, the first trading day after the refusal of Microsoft company takeovers, cheaper by 17%. For one share offer of about $ 23.8. This is the strongest decline in the past two years. Shares of Microsoft, by contrast, went up by 2.5%. Also, it is possible that Yahoo rejection of a merger with Microsoft would ensure that against Internet companies will initiate new proceedings. Waiver of a merger with Microsoft caused serious differences in the management of Yahoo, and some shareholders of Internet companies in February filed seven lawsuits, accusing the leadership of Yahoo in unwillingness to cooperate with Microsoft. Now the number of lawsuits is likely to only increase. Yahoo has been accused Guide that it negotiated with Google is not in the interest of the company, but solely to avoid a merger with Microsoft. Some analysts have also expressed fears that Yahoo shares could collapse in the price of all 30%. In fact, denying Microsoft, Yahoo has set itself in a very delicate position: top managers now have to prove to investors and shareholders that the company is really worth more for her proposed $ 47.5 billion and has good growth prospects. The head of Yahoo Jerry Yang has appealed to the staff, noting that now need to redouble efforts to implement the plans and strengthen market positions. But, it seems to me, clue as to why Microsoft so suddenly stopped its attack on Yahoo. The company AOL - Internet unit holding company Time Warner - began talks with Microsoft about a possible merger. AOL is cheap for Microsoft and smaller-scale alternative to Yahoo. The main purpose of Microsoft in deal with Yahoo has been building its market share search advertising. AOL, in turn, is one of the largest advertising Internet sites on the U.S. market. AOL first talks to merge with Yahoo, the search engine when trying to block the takeover by Microsoft. Then, according to market participants, Time Warner could get in exchange for AOL 20% stake in Yahoo. Estimated value of AOL, thus amounted to approximately $ 10 billion

Now let's talk about another event, but with the same heroes. Companies AOL, Yahoo and RealNetworks will have to pay a large sum for the right to broadcast music on the Internet. In early May, the district court in New York rejected a request companies to set licensing fees to authors and publishers of songs based on income from direct use of music. The judge ruled that members of the American Society of Composers, authors and publishers of texts (ASCAP) should receive payments based in part on the combined income of the site, transmitting music. Digital Media Association (DiMA - group representing AOL, Yahoo and RealNetworks) reported that to discourage a court decision, since expected that royalties will be based on income from the use of music service. According to Jonathan Potter, executive director of DiMA, the payment formula to be careful consideration including possible trials before it will become clear as the new scheme will affect the business. ASCAP also reported that a judicial verdict applies to licensing fees for the period from July 1, 2002 until December 31, 2009 Under the new formula AOL, Yahoo and RealNetworks will have to pay a total of $ 100 million And those payments would go only to authors and publishers of songs, but not record companies. According to the President and head of the board of directors ASCAP Marilyn Bergman, the decision of the court - an important step toward pay equity songwriters, composers and publishers, since many online music services earn entire state, using the creativity of these people. Now content providers are trying to conquered large share of the growing market for video and music, which is projected company Insight Research, for the next six years will reach $ 70 billion This amount, however, may be greater - if the fee for one broadcast songs will decline faster than expected, if consumers move to Internet-television faster than projected, or if the deployment of 3G networks will occur in a shorter time than planned.

Producer published the other day playing Grand Theft Auto IV Benzis Leslie told journalists that the development of the game Rockstar cost the company approximately $ 100 million Also in his interview he noted that the project brought more than a thousand developers. Only a team to create Grand Theft Auto IV lasted three and a half years. According to the producer, this time has been spent on careful consideration of virtual world. Much attention has been paid and part of the storyline: GTA IV scenario took more than a thousand pages. Developers can not say exactly what amount needed to create games. If the data on the $ 100 million are confirmed, the new creature Rockstar Games will receive the title of most expensive games in history. Now this record belongs Action Shenmue, released in 1999 on the Dreamcast. On the establishment of the project company Sega spent more than $ 70 million According to analysts, to return the spent on the development of Grand Theft Auto IV funds will be easy - the demand for new action against Rockstar Games in the first days after the start of sales was very high. Already aware that GTA IV has become the fastest selling game in Britain. During the first day residents purchased 609 thousand more copies of the game, and there is every reason to believe that during the first week of GTA IV will bring together more than $ 400 million In this there is some merit press - most journalists have Grand Theft Auto IV maximum assessment. The company Niko Partners has published its annual report, which states: residents of China in 2007 spent on online games $ 1.7 billion Compared with the previous year increased consumer spending on network entertainment amounted to 71%. A total of 46 million live Celestial gamers. According to forecasts Niko Partners, in 2008 the Chinese spend on online games are already $ 2.5 billion In the future, every year this figure will increase by about one third, and by 2012 to reach up to $ 6 billion As the expert Lisa Kosmas Hanson of Niko Partners, costs residents of China at the game grow, as the country's economy is on the rise. 14 million Chinese gamers most zayadlyh spend on online games more than 22 hours a week. In doing so the Chinese are interested in not only multiplayer projects - the sale of conventional games for PC and home consoles also growing. Despite the extremely high levels of piracy, licensing revenues from sales offline PC-games in 2007 grew by 56%. In Niko Partners also note that, despite the force since 2000, the ban on the sale of gaming consoles, the Chinese are still illegally importing them into the country. The average gamers these stations cost money, but demand still growing. In 2007, it sold 2.48 million consoles that 75% more than a year earlier.

And finally, news, which last week attracted particular ecstasy from television news editors. Cuban authorities allowed the free sale of the PC population. Henceforth, any wealthy resident of Liberty Islands can buy a computer for private use without special permission. The first computers arrived on sale May 2, and, despite the fact that few Cubans can afford to pay for a $ 780 computer, a small electrical shop in Havana, hundreds of people gathered. While Cuban consumers is only one model - the PC firms QTECH with CRT-display and the standard mouse and keyboard black processor Intel Celeron, HDD for 80 GB and 512 RAM. At these computers installed OS Windows XP. They are collected in Cuba from parts procured from the Chinese manufacturers. Not quite, though understandable, as these legal PCs installed Windows XP, if on Cuba by the U.S. trade embargo in force.

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