Ballmer Wears Poker Face in Advance of Ultimatum Deadline

Yahoo earnings? What Yahoo earnings? Steve Ballmer doesn't seem to care about no stinking Yahoo earnings. Or their Google Adwords test. Or their three year revenue projections. Or their talks with Time Warner. Or forming the OpenSocial Foundation with Google. Or planning to make IndexTools free (like Google analytics).

Ballmer wants Yahoo at $31 a share and that's that. He's talking tough, saying he'll go forward without a merger. But almost no one believes him. Analysts still think the bid will be raised to anywhere from $32 to $34-ish per share.

Which brings us to Jerry Yang. He's got a poker face too, according to the analysts. Yahoo has already said No to Microsoft's bid and then issued a reminder after Ballmer's eviction notice. But many think Yahoo will indeed go for the sale should the bid be increased.

Increase or no increase, Wall Street seems to want this deal to go through. Unlike Google, Yahoo's positive earnings were followed by loss on stocks on the Street. Though Google is a pesky reminder that Wall Street doesn't always know what it's talking about.

Culture clashes could cause huge problems for Ballmer's goal of giving Google a run for its money. And, this will be especially true if it turns out that there is no bluff to call.