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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

January 26, 2009 at 11:22 AM

Reviewing a year of the Microsoft-Yahoo saga

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So much has changed in a year, but one thing remains the same. Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, still covets Yahoo’s share of the Internet search and advertising market. While an outright acquisition is off the table — and has been since last spring — Ballmer remains interested in a search partnership, as his company has been unable to gain ground on market-leader Google. In fact, since Microsoft proposed its acquisition nearly a year ago, it has lost more than a point of Internet search-market share while Google has gained five points. Last week, as Microsoft announced its first companywide layoffs, Ballmer said the company would continue to hire in strategically important areas such as Internet search. “I think I’ve been quite public about the fact that I think there are advantages for consumers, advertisers, Microsoft and Yahoo through a search partnership; and we’d like to do one,” he said. And with new leadership at Yahoo in the person of Carol Bartz, whom Ballmer said he knows well and was “glad to see at the helm of Yahoo,” who knows what the next year will hold? “If it’s appropriate, I’m sure we’ll have the right discussion,” Ballmer said.

We plotted some key moments in the Microsoft-Yahoo acquisition dance that captured an enormous amount of attention in the financial and technology worlds during the last 12 months. Microsoft’s initial proposal to buy Yahoo came to light early on Feb. 1, 2008. (Note: This image is obviously a bit fuzzy. Here’s a full-sizedPDF of the chart.)

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