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In Search Race, Ballmer Seeks More Eyeballs

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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer just can't get away from questions about going after Yahoo - again. Just over a year after the software giant made a public - and unsolicited - bid for the Sunnyvale search engine, the playing field has changed. The economy went to the pooper and Yahoo!'s stock followed suit. Then there's a brand spankin' new CEO in former Autodesk Chairman Carol Bartz.

Ever since Ballmer declared that Microsoft is moving on last July, he's never wavered from that stance. Instead, he's been scooping up Yahoo! employees and bringing them into his house.

So when Ballmer recently said that any deal with Yahoo! would be a grab for eyeballs, not technology - I tend to believe him. After all, he's got a bunch of Yahoo! talent now. They have the tech know-how. What else would he really need Yahoo! for?

Of course, that won't stop the questions from being asked and the whispers from being uttered. Will Microsoft and Yahoo! strike a deal? Only time will tell, but the nature of a new deal almost certainly has changed.

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