1975: Bill Gates, Paul Allen begin what becomes Microsoft. March 13, 1986: Microsoft completes its initial public offering for $21 a share...

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1975: Bill Gates, Paul Allen begin what becomes Microsoft.

March 13, 1986: Microsoft completes its initial public offering for $21 a share.

1989: Tim Berners-Lee credited with creating World Wide Web.

1993: Stanford University researchers create Excite, one of the earliest search engines.

January 1994: Stanford graduate students Jerry Yang and David Filo create Yahoo.

August 1995: Microsoft introduces MSN network.

January 1996: Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who met as graduate students at Stanford, collaborate on a search engine called BackRub, named for its ability to analyze the “back links” pointing to a Web site.

April 12, 1996: Yahoo completes its IPO for $13 a share.

September 1998: Google opens for business in a garage in Menlo Park, Calif.

June 1999: Google secures $25 million in venture capital funding.

June 2000: Yahoo selects Google to provide search-engine technology.

August 2001: Google names Eric Schmidt as CEO.

September 2002: Google adds Google News.

December 2002: Yahoo agrees to buy Inktomi for $235 million to bolster its search engine.

Feb. 18, 2004: Yahoo stops using Google’s search software.

August 2004: Google sells to the public for $85 a share.

April 2006: Google’s share of the Internet search market in the U.S. reaches 50 percent.

November 2006: Google buys YouTube, the most popular online video-sharing site, for $1.65 billion to expand beyond Internet searches.

May 4, 2007: Yahoo shares jump after a report that Microsoft wants to buy the company.

June 18: Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang is named CEO.

August: Yahoo’s share of the U.S. Internet search market falls below 20 percent for the first time.

December: Microsoft handles 14 percent of U.S. Internet searches. Yahoo has almost 18 percent and Google 56 percent.

Feb. 1: Microsoft makes unsolicited $44.6 billion offer for Yahoo.

Sources: Bloomberg News, Hoovers, and company Web sites.