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Google reaches for the Sky

Here's some hot news. Google has amended its much-vaunted corporate philosophy. It now reads, 'Don't be evil, but do join forces with Rupert Murdoch's evil empire in pursuit of a fast buck'.

Actually, that bit's not true. But the unholy alliance has indeed taken place. Yes, News Corp, in the form of Sky Broadband, and Google have teamed up to bring customers Sky-branded, Google-based goodies. The two companies will team up in video, communications, search and advertising. And Sky executives will be ditching their suits, growing beards and playing with hackeysacks at the Googleplex. (Again, not so true.)

Sky's set to launch a user-generated video portal powered by Google's video-content tools. Aping, you guessed it, Google's own YouTube (and the rest), Sky and Google's new service will encourage users to upload and share content – direct from a mobile phone if they so desire. Users get an audience for their clips, Sky gets a whole new batch of citizen reporters and the advertisers get a heap of hits.

And the phone bit is pretty cool, actually. YouTube has started trialling a similar service in the US, but it is feature-limited and pay-for.

Sky broadband customers will will also be able to use GoogleMail accounts with addresses at @sky.com instead of @gmail.com.

And the real reason for the collaboration? Google's search and advertising tools. Sky's hoping to get its hands on a larger slice of the UK's lucrative online advertising market, and Google has the wherewithal to make it happen. Be afraid.

The two companies have not revealed the financial terms of the deal, but it's a pretty neat fit. Sky's broadband is shaping up to be a killer service (if you can get it, which has proved troublesome for some) and if the company can start making major money from online advertising, our children's children will all grow up speaking Murdoch. Plus, it makes sense for the two big players in the online market to play together nicely.

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