Week in Review: Microsoft buddies up with Yahoo

It's been a busy week in IT, with news yet more news from Microsoft. It's like they're the biggest tech firm out there or something.

Attention seeking Microsoft

Microsoft dominated the news this week, with a number of stories.

Firstly, the week started with news that Microsoft had once again changed how it would respond to the EU over its demands that Microsoft stop exclusively bundling IE with Windows 7. The company said that it would now let those installing Windows 7 choose from a range of browsers via a ballot screen'. So if you want to use Chrome instead of IE as the default, you can. See now, Microsoft, that wasn't so hard was it?

Then, Microsoft and Yahoo surprised everyone by announcing a joint deal on search a story that's been bubbling under for about 100 years now, or at least it seems that way.

The bottom line is that in a 10-year agreement Yahoo will use Bing, and gets 88 per cent of the search revenue, while Microsoft will get far greater reach for Bing, and more chance to improve the technology. It's a close call one on which of the two has come out on top of this one Ballmer calls it win-win', but we suspect Google is keeping a close eye on this one.

On mobile, it also opened up its Windows Mobile store to developers, promising to make it easier for them than Apple does.

And finally Microsoft has relented and decided to give out a free copy of Windows 7 to those who had been specially invited to the technical beta program. Those are just the sort who would likely to have access to an MSDN or Technet account and could get it for free anyway, so this is likely just good PR, but a smart move nevertheless no need to play hardball on your most eager supporters.

Apple under fire

On the Apple side of things, we had some more tablet rumours, and talk that Spotify might arrive on the iPhone in weeks. Will Apple approve it? Will it kill iTunes? Will it kill the networks? All questions to be answered.

On a rare up note for Apple, the ASA came down on Apple's side against complaints against its latest ads.

It wasn't good news on the security side of things though, with both Mac OS, and the iPhone coming under criticism for their vulnerability to hackers. The latter is particularly worrying with suggestions that every iPhone in the world could be taken over.

And the best of the rest

In other news, David Davis took a pop at the government for planning to let Google look after health records, London got its own fire-fighting robots (what's not to like?), and M15 admitted that part of its website had been hacked. Reports that it was both shaken and stirred have not been confirmed.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.