by Gord Hotchkiss
Get your ringside seats. The fight is about to begin. The flurry of announcements coming out of Google and Yahoo! recently show their preparations for the onslaught of MSN Search. And one of the most interesting was Google's announcement of another issue of 14.6 million shares, to give them an estimated $4 billion cash injection.
First, let's look at the recent Google announcements. Google Talk, the new IM application, is in beta now, which probably explains the current lack of advertising; don't expect an ad-free zone for long. A few days before the IM report, Google announced the new version of their desktop search appliance with new features, such as RSS integration and self-updating navigation. To top it off, The New York Times ran an article claiming Google is taking Microsoft's position as Silicon Valley's favorite villain. According to the article, Google's huge roster of engineering talent can do almost anything it puts its mind to, basically freezing start-ups in their tracks.