Microsoft acquires Skype- It’s seems that last week’s rumors that either Facebook or Microsoft would acquire Skype were true. This week Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion, its largest acquisition ever. Some are speculating that Microsoft bought Skype as part of a bigger shift toward IP communications. Beyond that, Microsoft acquired Skype’s 660 million user base and peer-to-peer technology.
Facebook’s attack on Google- Facebook was exposed this week for contracting the PR firm Burson-Marsteller to create a publicity scandal surrounding Google’s Social Circle feature. The large corporate PR firm contacted USA Today, attempting to sell Google’s Social Circle as the latest breach in user privacy. Reporters at USA Today took a closer look into Burson’s story and discovered that Google’s Social Circle privacy problems were peanuts in comparison to other social networks.
Google introduces Chromebooks at Google I/O- Google unveiled its new Chrome based cloud-computing operating system. As of June 15 customers will be able to purchase the Samsung Series 5 ($429-499) and Acer Chromebooks ($349) across the U.S. and Europe. What’s interesting about Google’s Chromebooks is that Google is marketing them on a subscription basis for businesses and educators. Businesses will be able to rent a Chromebook for $28/user per month for three years. Schools will be able to rent them for a reduced cost of $20/user/month.
Google’s settlement on drug ads: Earlier this week, Google announced that it would set aside $500 million to resolve a case with the Justice Department. According to the Wall Street Journal, the case was a federal investigation into claims that Google profited from ads from illegal online pharmacies. According to the WSJ, “The federal investigation has examined whether Google knowingly accepted ads from online pharmacies, based in Canada and elsewhere, that violated U.S. laws.”
Google previews Google +1 button- This week at the Google I/O conference, Google gave a preview of its Google +1 button, explaining how webmasters will be able to insert it directly into websites. Google also announced that its +1 button would become available over the next couple of weeks.