Tech Roundup: Ballmer Nixes Yahoo Bid, Google/P&G Employee Swap, More

Last Updated Nov 20, 2008 12:48 PM EST

Ballmer says no, no, no to Yahoo -- Microsoft isn't interested in buying Yahoo, according to CEO Steve Ballmer, though it would consider acquiring the search business. Can anyone say at fire sale prices? Yahoo shares dove by more than 20 percent. On the up side, Yahoo OneSearch will be an option on T-Mobile USA phones, so at least it's getting a food in the mobile advertising door. [Source: AP]

PayPal to offer holiday credit -- In a sure sign of either genius or recklessness, eBay through PayPal will offer consumer credit for holiday purchases. This stems from eBay's purchase of Bill Me Later. [Source: Wall Street Journal]

Google and Procter & Gamble to swap employees -- Google and P&G are swapping employees so each company can learn from the other. Given the extreme differences in the two cultures, the experiment is bound to be at least interesting. Expect early signs of cross fertilization to include laundry detergent that can sort your clothes for you. [Source: Search Engine Land]

CA's new game plan -- CA is increasing products it hosts and adopting subscription pricing options in hopes of selling its software and services in the way IT managers want to buy them. Part of that is packaging related services as companies look for single-vendor solutions. [Source: InfoWorld]

Virtual worlds: Sony checks in, Google, out -- Not too long ago, all manner of companies thought that virtual worlds like Second Life would become the next great thing in marketing. So much for expectations. At this point, Google is going to kill off its Lively project by the end of December because it was not "going to pay off." But Sonyis hoping that all those people on PlayStations might offer at least the kernel of a business that might, who knows?, do something some day. So it is introducing its virtual world called Home. Or maybe the reason is that after 18 months of development and spending money, it would be tough to say, "Oops. Guess we made a mistake." [Source: Search Engine Land, VentureBeat]

BestBuy feels pain -- Circuit City went into bankruptcy, and BestBuy, while faring better, isn't seeing smooth sailing. Standard & Poor's Rating Services lowered its corporate credit rating to BBB-, one step above junk bonds. We'll see how other retailers fare as jobless claims are at a 16-year high, consumer confidence dropped last month faster than experts expected, the Fed guesses that jobless rates will climb to between 7.1 and 7.6 percent, and consumer prices dropped by the largest amount in 61 years, largely due to the deflating of oil and food costs. [Source:, AP]

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    Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. The views expressed in this column belong to Sherman and do not represent the views of CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman or on Facebook.