Microsoft + Yahoo = Brand new BFFs

Microsoft has been trying for quite a long time to get its hands on a deal with web search and content giant Yahoo! and now at long last they’ve achieved their goal.

Yahoo! and Microsoft jointly announced today that they have signed an agreement to work together. Microsoft will power Yahoo! searching and Yahoo! will become the exclusive international advertising sales force for both companies. Yahoo! will continue doing what it does best, enhanced now by having Microsoft’s resources behind it. Per Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz, advertisers will appreciate the benefits of working with a single platform and sales group. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says that the deal benefits Microsoft by helping to attract more users and advertisers, leading to more relevant ads and search results.

Both companies hope that joining forces will allow them to knock out a larger portion of the market; currently Microsoft and Yahoo! combined handle less than 30 percent of web searches in the US and 11 percent globally. The 500 pound gorilla of the industry, Google, handles 65 percent of US searches and 67 percent everywhere else.

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