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Google, Yahoo talk again...

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CIOL Bureau
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BANGALORE, INDIA: History has once again repeated albeit in a different context.

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This dates back to 1998, when Google had sought partnership with Yahoo, then a three-year-old company founded by two Stanford University Ph. D candidates David Filo and Jerry Yang.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, after two years of work on their search engine BackRub, called on friend Filo for a possible partnership.

Incidentally, both Yahoo! and Google are carved out of Stanford. Both began as a student hobby before turning into global Internet giants.

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While Filo and Yang, both Ph. D candidates in Electrical Engineering, started their guide (Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web) in a campus trailer in February 1994 as a way to keep track of their personal interests on the Internet.  They established Yahoo in 1995.

In January 1996, Page and Brin, computer science students at Stanford, had begun collaboration on a search engine called BackRub, named for its unique ability to analyze the ‘back links’ pointing to a given website.

Page and Brin continued working to perfect their technology through the first half of 1998. Meanwhile, Brin set up a business office, and the two began calling on potential partners who might want to license a search technology better than any then available.

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Despite the dotcom fever of the day, they had little interest in building a company of their own around the technology they had developed.

It was then that they called on Filo, who agreed that their technology was solid, but encouraged Page and Brin to grow the service by starting a search engine company. “When it’s fully developed and scalable,” he told, “let's talk again.”

Taking ahead from where it was left

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Ten years later, with Microsoft planning to acquire Yahoo!, both companies are believed to have embarked on a renewed deliberation, this time with an objective to tackle the behemoth of the software biggie, prominent in the industry for its operating system and Internet Explorer.

Media reports emanating from the US claim that soon after Microsoft’s bid, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt called his Yahoo counterpart Yang, offering his company’s assistance to foil Microsoft’s bid.

Reports also said that the Yahoo management is considering resuming talks it held with Google several months ago on an alliance as an option to Microsoft's bid.

Google had raised questions on Microsoft’s proposal to acquire Yahoo! David Drummond, it’s senior vice president of Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer raised apprehension that Microsoft would exercise the same inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC.

Last week, Microsoft had proposed to acquire Yahoo! for $44.6 billion. Yahoo! said it is evaluating the "unsolicited" proposal.

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