INTERNET

Microsoft, Yahoo to Announce Partnership

Microsoft and Yahoo have agreed to make their two instant-messaging programs work together, a partnership that could threaten market leader America Online, sources familiar with the situation told the Associated Press.

The deal was expected to be announced early today, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose details.

Microsoft has long sought to forge a deal to boost the profile of its MSN Messenger service. The company also has been in talks with AOL over possible partnerships with Microsoft's MSN online unit, although it's not clear where those talks stand now.

Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL, a division of Time Warner, all declined to comment.

security

More Windows Flaws Fixed

Microsoft released nine updates to fix security holes in its Windows operating system, including three patches that the company labeled "critical." Microsoft said the security holes may let a hacker take control of a computer. The world's biggest software maker has been working for two years to boost the security of its Windows operating system, training engineers to avoid common flaws and holding off development of its next version of Windows to release a security overhaul to 2001's Windows XP in August 2004.

The company plans to develop new products that help businesses bolster their resistance to computer viruses. For more information, see Brian Krebs's Security Fix blog at www.washingtonpost.com/securityfix.

telecommunications

SBC Seeks License to Sell TV in Texas

SBC Communications joined Verizon Communications in seeking statewide licenses in Texas to sell television programming. Statewide licenses would let the phone companies sell TV service across the state without obtaining franchises from each municipality, which could take far longer.

SBC applied for a license from the Texas Public Utility Commission, as it seeks to sell TV service in 21 communities in the San Antonio area, according to a filing on the commission's Web site. The companies are required to tell the commission where they would offer service initially.

The Texas commission's staff recommended that Verizon be given a license to sell TV service in 22 communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Verizon began battling Texas cable and satellite providers Sept. 22 with its first television service in Keller, where it obtained a local franchise. It also has local franchises in Sachse, Westlake and Wylie.

Advanced Micro Devices, the nation's second-largest semiconductor maker, reported its third-quarter profit blew past Wall Street projections on higher sales of its chips that power mobile telephones, servers and desktop computers.

Profit rose to $76 million from $43.8 million in the comparable quarter a year earlier. Sales climbed 23 percent, to $1.52 billion.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.