Update 10:32 a.m. PDT: Added more comments from Gates in his interview and a late morning trading price for Yahoo.
Microsoft's Bill Gates, in an NBC interview with Tom Brokaw, said a deal with Yahoo is unlikely, according to a CNBC report Friday .
Yahoo shares fell 2.81 percent to $20.77 in late morning trading, as the broader markets also slumped.
During his interview, Gates said "I don't think that one is likely," in reference to a Microsoft-Yahoo deal. He added, however, that he believes Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will find "plenty of other opportunities."
Gates' prediction comes as he prepares Friday to wrap up his last day of full-time work at Microsoft . Come Monday, he will serve as non-executive chairman and work part time at the software company he co-founded.
Shares of Microsoft were essentially flat, trading up 0.43 percent at $27.87 a share in morning trading.
Shipments of PCs to the saturated U.S. market may be declining somewhat, but the EMEA region gave the worldwide PC market a big boost in the third quarter, according to figures released Wednesday by IDC.
PC shipments grew 15.5 percent worldwide in the past quarter. Growth in the EMEA regions, led by Hewlett-Packard and Acer, was paced by a strong demand for notebooks and back-to-school promotions, leading to the best growth rates in the region in the past two years.
"The issue is that it continues to be notebooks that are driving strong growth for the overall market. It's happening on the consumer and enterprise sides," said Bob O'Donnell, IDC vice president for clients and displays. "Consumers increasingly are voting for notebooks."
HP continued to stretch its lead over rival Dell as the No. 1 PC maker in the world. HP's slice of the global PC vendor pie now stands at 19.6 percent, keeping Dell in second place with 15.2 percent. It was exactly a year ago when HP toppled Dell as the top dog of the PC world . Since then, HP's growth has continued apace , while Dell has struggled . But the Round Rock, Texas, PC maker appears to be turning things around.
For one, Dell, which is overrepresented in sales to U.S. customers, is starting to spread its business to a variety of geographic regions, something CEO Michael Dell acknowledged at an investor conference earlier this year.
"Now they're starting to reap some benefits," said O'Donnell. "Call it a turnaround or call it a readjustment, but they're starting to get their ships in order and get things back on track. But they still have a ways to go."
Case in point: Though Dell made some good gains in shipment volume growth in the past year, it was the only of the top five PC vendors to lose worldwide market share from a year ago. After HP and Dell, IDC says the top vendors are Lenovo , Acer and Toshiba . Rival analyst firm Gartner places Acer slightly ahead of Lenovo in its rankings.
Acer had made some monstrous gains in quarters past , and though the third quarter was still very healthy--with an industry-leading 60 percent growth in shipments over the last year--its rate of growth shows signs of slowing.
"The volume was down sequentially for Acer. That signifies that they've hit a bit of a wall in terms of U.S. growth," said O'Donnell. "A lot people thought that would happen. It's a different animal in the U.S. where retail shelf space."
So while Acer continues to grow, nobody in any industry can keep up that type of pace. The addition of Gateway and Packard Bell to its arsenal should provide more opportunities to grow, but the impact of the two acquisitions likely won't be felt for several quarters, O'Donnell said.
Here in the U.S., overall PC shipments grew a scant 5.2 percent since the same quarter last year. Desktop shipments continued to decline, and while notebook shipments did grow, they didn't quite match last quarter's numbers, said IDC.
Dell maintained its lead in the U.S., but HP continues to lurk closely behind. Dell's U.S. share is 28 percent, followed by HP with 24.3, Apple with 6.3, Toshiba with 5.2 and Gateway with 4.8 percent. Gartner's data ranks the vendors the same, but gives Apple an 8.1 percent share and also bumps Gateway up slightly to 5.2 percent.
Now you can protect your iPod in style while also helping a cause.
Designer Marc Ecko and Monster have launched the leather iPod " Case for a Cause " to benefit the fight against breast cancer.Credit: Monster
Following the likes of a new notebook to raise funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, all net proceeds from the case benefit Fashion Targets Breast Cancer , a nonprofit organization devoted to raising awareness and funding research.
The $29.95 case, emblazoned with the symbol created by organization founder Ralph Lauren, comes in three sizes and includes a metal belt clip and removable wrist strap. It's available now online at the Apple store and will soon be available through Monster's site.
Bombs have been falling on Lebanon for two weeks now. The news is all over the Web. But, as a generous tipster pointed out: In Google Earth , the skies over Beirut are clear, the grass is green and the buildings are standing.
What' up, Google?
A Google representative said the freshness of the images is solely the responsibility of Digital Globe, the company that provides satellite images to Google Earth. "Google has no editorial control or control over the time line," she said.
She couldn't say how often new images are streamed to Google, but said that, on average, images for any one location are updated every year to 18 months.
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service, and the Associated Press. E-mail Elinor .
It seems like the current Web 2.0 boomtown is in broadcast tools that allow you to bring your self-programmability a few steps above the YouTube + 20-dollar webcam norm. We've seen Kyte.tv recently, which allows you to create your own live vlogging stream --a phenomenon that certainly got a boost from the popularity of Justin.tv . I recently heard about another emerging player in the business, Veodia , which appears to be catering to a slightly more highbrow breed of video blogger.
Veodia promises that it'll allow you to create professional-quality video in "one click," eliminating the process of capturing, encoding, uploading, streaming, and the like. As a result, you can broadcast it live or opt to serve it up on-demand. You can instantly create an RSS feed to syndicate to a podcast download service like iTunes. You're also allowed to retain control and ownership rights to the videos you create--and the company assures it won't downgrade the quality as many "consumer" video-sharing sites do.
Right now, it's in a limited beta and appears to be free of charge, though something like this will almost certainly become pricey once it's in its full version.
Additionally, Veodia is primarily banking on use by professional clients, as evidenced by its recently-announced involvement with the developer network for online conferencing service WebEx 's WebEx Connect platform. But when I spoke briefly with company representatives, they stressed that Veodia is also relevant to "professional" bloggers and video podcasters.
The beta version of Veodia is still limited: you can only have 100 simultaneous viewers, for example, and there are bandwidth and storage caps. Broadcasters need to be running Internet Explorer on Windows XP, though apparently Mac and Vista compatibility is in the works. This MacBook user, as a result, is shut out. Any video bloggers out there want to take the beta for a spin? I'd be curious to know what the actual process is like.
In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Microsoft said that Connors' resignation was effective March 31. Connors announced in January that he planned to leave Microsoft and join venture capital firm Ignition Partners. However, he also said he would stay on for an unspecified time to "assist in the transition."
Microsoft has yet to name a replacement, and a company representative said the search is continuing.
More details here .During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina .
Kickfire is one of the coolest open-source companies to launch within the last few years. Today, it announced that it has raised $20 million in series B funding to tell the world about what it's doing.
What does Kickfire do? From a business angle, it has figured out a clever way to monetize MySQL's excellent software. From a technical angle:Based on a patented SQL chip that packs the power of tens of CPUs into an exceptionally small, low-power form factor Kickfire delivers a quantum leap in performance efficiency--avoiding the hardware build out, power, and space costs of today's data warehouse and database offerings. By delivering astoundingly fast query performance out of the box, Kickfire enables organizations to use MySQL for demanding business intelligence, reporting, and analysis rather than migrating to costly, non-open source alternatives.
One question arising from this: Why doesn't Sun do this? Sun knows semiconductors as well as anyone, and it now knows MySQL better than anyone. Kickfire has a leap on the competition, but could Sun prove to be a spoiler?
For now, Kickfire is the best game in town when it comes to easy-to-deploy supercharged MySQL performance. Very cool.