Microsoft Warms Up the Irons...For Waffles?

By now, everyone knows that Microsoft is doing a hostile-takeover Apache dance with Yahoo, and Yahoo wants no part of it. Saturday was Microsoft's big bad deadline, after which the Empire has promised to launch it's attack. So, where are we?

The Microsofties were out in force last week, with CFO Chris Liddell using Microsoft's quarterly-results conference call to reiterate the company's plans for a hostile takeover — though it could have just been his way of drawing attention away from Big Evil's depressing numbers, with a 24% decrease in Windows sales, a three-cent-per-share drop in income, and predictions that the next quarter won't be much better. All this just days after Yahoo announced better-than-expected numbers, seemingly proving the Yahoo board's assertion that $31 per share undervalues the company.

The interesting part, as we noted briefly last week, isn't that Microsoft is sticking to its guns on price — it's the weasel-words starting to trickle out from above. Just as they're supposedly heating up the irons for a boardroom coup, the line from Microsoft's execs is starting to sound a lot like the irons are for making waffles. Quoth Ballmer: "[W]e’ll move forward without a merger." Liddell is even better — he goes weasel in the middle of a threat: "These alternatives clearly include taking an offer to Yahoo shareholders or to withdraw our proposal and focus on other opportunities."

This doesn't sound like a company certain of victory to us...

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