Google Links with MySpace

Google announced Tuesday that it's now the exclusive provider of search services for MySpace, a social networking site that has quickly become one of the hottest online destinations. Under the terms of the deal, Google will provide Web search and MySpace specific search services to MySpace users.

Although complete terms of the deal haven't been revealed, Google will pay MySpace and other sites owned by News Corporation that are covered in the terms of this deal at least $900 million in revenue sharing payments between early 2007 and the middle of 2010. Google will use search based ad revenues to pay this sum.

The potential earnings for both companies are huge. MySpace had 23 billion page views in June, and based on traffic, was rated the number six Web site in the United States. The site has more than 73 million registered users, most of whom are teens and young adults.

In related news, Google also announced a deal this week with MTV Networks in which Google supported, by its exclusive network of advertisers, will distribute MTV video content. Google says it will make video ads available via its AdSense program in addition to more traditional text and image ads.

Microsoft Axes Virtual PC for Mac 

Microsoft revealed this week that it won't be creating a version of Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 for Intel based Mac computers. The software maker said that a variety of factors led to its decision to cancel development of the product.

Virtual PC would have provided Mac users with a way to run Windows and Windows applications inside virtualized PC environments. Although Microsoft has a Virtual PC product for PCs and a server version called Microsoft Virtual Server 2005, the company ran into problems while porting the code to new Intel based Macs.

Developing a high quality virtualization solution such as Virtual PC for the Intel based Mac is similar to creating a version 1.0 release due to how closely the product integrates with Mac hardware a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in a message released to the press. The spokesperson noted that Mac users can choose from a variety of alternatives such as Parallels Desktop and an upcoming version of VMware Workstation. Apple Computer also provides a beta version of its Boot Camp software, which lets Mac users dual boot Windows XP and Mac OS X.

Although this week's bad news was expected, Microsoft did have one bit of good news for Mac users. It's Intel based version of Microsoft Office for Mac OS X has come along faster than expected. Microsoft has now completely transitioned the Office code base from PowerPC to the Universal binary format which will run on both PowerPC and Intel based Macs.

"Tens of millions of lines of code have been 100 percent transitioned to Apple's developer environment Xcode on the road to a Universal version of Office for Mac," a Microsoft spokesperson claimed.

Unlike Virtual PC, Office has no viable competition on the Mac and a native Intel version of Office for Mac is one of the two most eagerly awaited Universal applications (the other is Adobe Photoshop). The next version of Office for Mac is due by 2007. Microsoft also plans an updated IM client for Mac users dubbed Microsoft Messenger for Mac 6.0