Microsoft Looking to Buy Fox, Others Away from Google Deals?

Bing logo

Software giant Microsoft has proven its serious about trying to take on Google in both the Internet search and online advertising arenas, first through its abortive hostile attempt to take over Yahoo, launching its own comprehensive Internet search engine in Bing, and then making a ten-year search deal with Yahoo to have Bing handle Yahoo’s searching. Now, it seems Microsoft is looking to increase Bing’s visibility and erode Google’s market share at the same time, potentially by buying out some of Google’s high-profile search partners.

According to the Financial Times, Microsoft has already had early discussions with Ruper Murdoch’s News Corp—which owns social networking giant MySpace—about paying News Corp to have its sites removed from Google’s search index. And News Corp isn’t alone: according to the report, Microsoft has also approached other publishers about paying them to remove their content from Google’s search engine and have it available exclusively through Bing.

The discussions are described as preliminary, and tie into newspaper publishing’s increasing discomfort with search engines indexing their content and effectively serving it up to Internet users without bringing traffic to the publishers’ own sites (and paid advertisements). News Corp’s Murdoch has already been making noise about taking the majority of his newspaper’s behind so-called “paywalls,” where only paid subscribers would be able to access the news content. The Wall Street Journal, a News Corp paper, is perhaps the most successful newspaper behind a paywall, although its content and audience are not typical for the broader newspaper industry.

Back in 2006, News Corp entered into a $900 million search deal with Google that made Google the exclusive search and keyword advertising provider for Fox Interactive Media sites, including MySpace. It’s not clear how any potential deal to exclude News Corp content from Google would (or would not) run afoul of that arrangement.

If Microsoft is able to strike deals with News Corp and other newspaper publishers, it could set an interesting new precedent for the content industry, where search engines pay publishers for the right to index their content.

Emerging Tech

Here’s how Facebook taught its Portal A.I. to think like a Hollywood filmmaker

When Facebook introduced its Portal screen-enhanced smart speakers, it wanted to find a way to make video chat as intimate as sitting down for a conversation with a friend. Here's how it did it.
Product Review

Sleek and expensive, the Apple TV 4K will still delight the Apple faithful

Is Apple’s latest streaming set-top box a revolution, or too little too late? Find out in our Apple TV 4K review, and learn how this device wins in some big categories, but falters in others.
Computing

Chrome is a fantastic browser, but is is still the best among new competitors?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Gaming

Here's our take on the best game-streaming services currently out there

You can still get your physical video game discs or cartridges at your local store or download games digitally, but another option is even more convenient: Game streaming. Here are the best game streaming services.
Computing

Intel expects Apple to transition Macs to ARM processors in 2020, report says

It has been rumored for some time that Apple could transition away from Intel to ARM processors, but a new report now claims that Intel is aware of the decision and that it could happen in 2020.
Computing

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.
Computing

The rumors were true. Nvidia’s 1660 Ti GPU, a $280 powerhouse, has arrived

Nvidia has officially launched the GTX 1660 Ti, its next-generation, Turing-based GPU. It promises to deliver all the performance and efficiency for all modern games, but without stepping into the high price range of the RTX series. 
Computing

Dodge the biggest laptop-buying mistakes with these handy tips

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.
Computing

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Computing

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.
Computing

Everything you need to know about routers, modems, combos, and mesh networks

Modem vs. router: what's the difference? We explain their functions so you can better diagnose any issues prior to contacting technical support. We also talk about a few variants you'll see offered by ISPs and retailers.
Computing

Metro Exodus update brings DLSS improvements to Nvidia RTX 20-series PCs

Having issues in Metro Exodus? A February 21 update for the title recently delivered enhancements to Nvidia’s deep learning supersampling feature and other fixes for low-specced PCs. 
Computing

Limited-time sale knocks $500 off the price of the Razer Blade Pro 17

Looking for an ultra-powerful laptop for yourself or someone else? You're in for some luck. Razer is running a sale on some of its best gaming laptops, cutting down pricing on the Razer Blade 15 and the Razer Blade Pro 17. 
Emerging Tech

Engineer turns his old Apple lle into an wheeled robot, and even gives it a sword

How do you give new life to a 30-year-old computer? Software engineer Mike Kohn found a way by transforming his old Apple IIe into a wheeled robot. Check it out in all its 1980s glory.