The highly competitive web-search business became a lot more interesting today when Microsoft Corp. made an unsolicited bid to purchase Yahoo Inc. for $44.6 billion--far more than Yahoo shares were worth when the stock market closed yesterday.

And as Microsoft's dramatic move was clearly aimed at strengthening its competitive edge against Google Inc., the prospect was for much greater competition between the two online powerhouses.

That, in turn, seemed destined to improve the internet experience for school officials, ed-tech leaders, teachers, and students among the many millions of internet users around the world for whom web searching and related software applications have...

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