Google Buys YouTube for $1.65 Billion

Internet search giant Google announced yesterday that it would purchase video-sharing sensation YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock. The deal gives Google the upper hand in the emerging market for homemade and popularity-driven online videos, a market that YouTube started less than a year ago.

According to reports, companies such as Microsoft, News Corporation, Viacom, and Yahoo! were also interested in purchasing YouTube. But Google's bid was apparently higher than the others, and being dominant in many other online markets, Google brings a wealth of related services to the table.

Under terms of the deal, the YouTube site will retain its name and branding, and YouTube's small staff will remain in the company's San Bruno, California, offices and not move to Google's main campus. Former YouTube CEO Chad Hurley says that the deal essentially lets YouTube continue to exist as an independent entity.

YouTube was founded in late 2005 and now has over 50 million users, a rate of adoption that's almost unheard of online. Companies and services such as MySpace, Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo! have attempted to emulate YouTube's business model but haven't attracted even a small fraction of YouTube's fervent user base. That said, because of the expense of streaming video and a poor advertising strategy, YouTube hasn't exactly been a financial success.

New OneCare Beta Supports Vista

Microsoft has released a public beta of the next version of its health and protection suite, Windows Live OneCare. The new version provides international support, better integration of antivirus and antispyware capabilities, more extensive backup options, and support for Windows Vista.

"Windows Live OneCare 1.5 will evolve throughout the beta process, based on internal testing and consumer feedback," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "Microsoft plans to release these features to both existing and new subscribers during the Windows Vista general availability timeframe."

Formerly available only in the United States, Live OneCare now also has localized editions for Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK. You can also back up Live OneCare 1.5 beta to network computers and USB storage devices.

Update

In yesterday's WinInfo Daily Update, I noted that Microsoft was offering Windows Vista Release Candidate 2 (RC2) to members of the Windows Vista Customer Preview Program (CPP) and provided a download URL. Since I wrote that article, Microsoft has removed the RC2 download from its public Web site. So far, my queries about this change have gone unanswered, but I'll report back when Microsoft does respond.