Microsoft and Yahoo on the way to the altar

Redmond (WA) – Yeah, I know we’ve been here before, but the industry’s longest-running soap opera finally looks like it’s reaching its series finale.

A bunch of Microsoft suits are in Silicon Valley in an attempt to tie the knot, the Wall Street Journal claims, although bridegroom Steve Ballmer isn’t among them.

The two sides are ‘down to the short strokes’, the paper put it, rather tactlessly, adding that after years of endless will they, won’t they speculation, a deal could be made within the week.

Blushing bride Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said a couple of months back that she was open to a deal if her suitor had ‘boatloads of money’. It is not known if the Microsoft party arrived from Redmond by boat.
Note to readers: in this case, a ‘boatload’ equates to several billion dollars in cash to take over Yahoo’s search advertising business, together with some display advertising arrangement involving Yahoo taking the lead in selling advertising for the newlyweds.

The marriage would give Microsoft around 28 percent of the search market, behind Google’s 65 percent, according to last month’s comScore figures.

But, as in all good soap operas, it ain’t over until the fat lady sings. One source told the WSJ: “If it does not work out, this will be it – we will finally go our separate ways and be done with it.”