Microsoft seems to be changing its attitude to the Yahoo deal, with the company’s bombastic boss, Steve Ballmer, changing his tune on the deal.

Microsoft is offering $44.6 billion to acquire Yahoo, but management there are stoutly resisting the offer, even though Microsoft is threatening to launch a proxy vote battle to see the current board replaced.

Yahoo’s resistance is so strong, including an unusual ads sharing deal with Google, that now Ballmer may be considering how he can exit the deal without appearing a complete failure – in the week CNBC’s Jim Cramer called Windows "irrelevant". "We’re prepared to move forward without a merger with Yahoo," Ballmer said onstage at a technology conference in Milan.

"Today Google has the lead, there’s no doubt about it and I wanna make sure that they have plenty of competition," Ballmer said. "We think the best way to move that forward quickly is to come together with Yahoo. I hope that it works, but if it doesn’t we go forward alone."


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