Microsoft and Yahoo are officially "off again" and their mutual friends are trying to decide who to side with. While many hold out hope that the two will eventually reunite Ross and Rachel-style, it's really anyone's guess as to what will transpire next.
For its part, Microsoft seems to be taking the chick flick approach. Top execs are making it known that the software giant is seeking some alone time and that they're not ready to date again just yet. Windows Live General Manager Brian Hall told Merrill Lynch Technology Conference attendees that Microsoft is moving on. And don't look for a rebound acquisition. Bill Gates has said Microsoft isn't pursuing alternative third parties. I guess MSFT will be eating the obligatory breakup chocolate ice cream all alone.
Meanwhile Jerry Yang is trying to paint Yahoo as a guy dealing with a crazy ex. He said Microsoft never made the purported higher bid of $32-33 a share. He claims that Yahoo thought that two companies were finding common ground when Microsoft bailed.
The whole thing is very reminiscent of a scene from The Break-Up starring Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn:
Brooke: I just don't know how we got here. Our entire relationship, I have gone above and beyond for you, for us. I've cooked, I've picked your stuff up off the floor, I've laid your clothes out for you like you're a four year old. I support you, I supported your work. If we ever had dinner or anything I did the plans, I take care of everything. And I just don't feel like you appreciate any of it. I don't feel you appreciate me. All I want is to know, is for you to show me that you care.
Gary: Why didn't you just say that to me?
Brooke: I tried. I've tried.
Gary: Never like that, you might have said some things that meant to imply that, but I'm not a mind reader...
But don't expect Yang's pithy comments to prelude his ouster. Kara Swisher reports that talk of Yang's firing is "greatly exaggerated." And while some shareholders are upset over the falling out, Yahoo's stock remains higher than it was before the unsolicited bid was put on the table. At the time of this post, Yahoo was trading at 25.36, which is a good seven points higher than before this soap opera began. Then again, stocks remain up over Wall Street's hopes that Microsoft will try to get back together with Yahoo and/or that a Google ad deal will be the rebound girl.