Report: Yahoo, Microsoft finally near deal

The two sides are "down to the short strokes," according to a report on All Things Digital, which notes that top Microsoft executives are in Silicon Valley to finalize a partnership.

Ina Fried Former Staff writer, CNET News
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Ina Fried

It's unclear whether they brought the requested "boatloads of money," but several top Microsoft executives are in Silicon Valley to try to finalize a search deal with Yahoo, according to an All Things Digital report late on Thursday.

According to the report, the two sides are "down to the short strokes" after years of excruciatingly well publicized on-again, off-again talks. A deal could come within a week, All Things Digital said.

Included in the Microsoft entourage, according to the report, are three of its top online executives: Yusuf Mehdi, Satya Nadella, and Qi Lu.

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said in May that she was open to a search deal if she believed in the partner's technology and they provided said boatloads of money. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has indicated for more than a year now that he would like to strike some sort of search deal, although he no longer wants to acquire all of Yahoo as the company offered to do in February 2008.

With Microsoft's Bing getting some good reviews and Microsoft having billions in cash on hand, the ingredients would seem to be in place, if both sides have the will to make it happen.