OK so this is breaking news and there aren't many details out yet. But apparently, Microsoft has made an offer to buy Yahoo! for about $44.6bn. They're valuing the web firm at about 60% more per share than the current price, which obviously makes this a staggering move. If it goes ahead (would it be allowed?!), this is the biggest story to hit the web since forever.
It looks to me like this might just go ahead. They've obviously already talked about it.
By the way: I work in this industry and I'm genuinely worried by what this might mean. For various language-related reasons, there's a good chance that plenty of programmers could go jobless if this mega-monopoly deal goes through.
More news as it comes..
Update: Here's the text of the letter Steve Balmer wrote to Yahoo (after the fold):
As we approach the new year, most broadcasters are preparing reviews of the year. The BBC is no exception, a large portion of its portal (front page) today is taken up with asking "How was it for you?" referring, I suppose, to 2004.
The BBC had a terrible year. They recently lost a chairman and a director-general because a government inquiry found them culpable in a case which questioned the veracity of supporting evidence for the Iraq war. And this year they had to settle for an unpopular choice as their new DG.
Could there be any coincidence that the BBC chose a picture of a tearful, not-a-minister-anymore David Blunkett as the centre image for its end of year review collage? The BBC and the media at large pushed the Blunkett story quite healthily. Is there a subtext behind the subtitle How Was It For You?