Last November, Ballmer was saying purchasing the search portion of Yahoo would be “interesting.” This week, he’s “very interested in getting some kind of deal going in search still,” according to CNBC, and without them “Microsoft has no search strategy to speak of” (ouch!). Or, as we put it last month:
Microsoft just cut 5000 jobs and missed your Wall Street estimates. What are they going to do now? If you guessed they’re going to Disney World, you’re wrong. No, according to Steve Ballmer, they’re looking to drop some big bucks on Yahoo search.
No wonder he’s still asking for Yahoo’s hand—or at least that of its search business, saying he wants to “somehow get together and find out how to provide more competition” to Google, as the NYT reports. Of course, every time he says the word Yahoo, YHOO’s
heart stock has a fit of palpitations to the tune of a 5% jump.
Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, however, has been far less stirred, much to the confusion and consternation of Ballmer and analysts alike. As CNBC puts it, the “lack of progress” is “surprising,” and Microsoft has been “rebuffed” and “ignored” since Bartz came in as chief of Yahoo. “It is just stunning to these people that nothing has been done . . . and yet Yahoo continues to circle the wagons, wanting to go it alone.”
Surprise, surprise—Yahoo doesn’t want to tie itself to a company that’s now admitting Apple is stealing its lunch, laying off people left and right . . . oh, wait, I guess that’s no better than Yahoo’s situation anyway.
But I think Jane Austen put the real reason that Ballmer and other analysts are “stunned” that Carol Bartz might want to keep the company she just took over all in one piece:
It is always incomprehensible to a man that a woman should refuse an offer of marriage.
What do you think—is Carol Bartz waiting for Yahoo’s price to go up into a reasonable range with all of Ballmer’s talk, or does she want to hang onto the search business for good?