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Google's Schmidt: We like Yahoo

Google's CEO played his cards close when asked about the company's test run with Yahoo.

Remember the old Saturday Night Live bit about Generalissimo Francisco Franco being still dead? The skit comes to mind whenever there's a twist in the Yahoo-Microsoft novella.

So it was last evening that The Wall Street Journal reported that Yahoo and Google were inching even closer to a search outsourcing deal. From Yahoo's perspective, the Google angle is a great way to try and convince Microsoft to sweeten its two-month old buyout bid.

So far, Microsoft has not budged. But a Citigroup analyst earlier Thursday suggested that Microsoft shares could handle a bigger Yahoo bid. I was hoping to have more to report after the bell when Google reported its first-quarter earnings.

No such luck.

"We are very excited to be participating in this test," was Eric Schmidt's prolix response. "It's nice to be working with Yahoo and we like them very much."

Now Schmidt stopped short of peas and carrots, peanut butter and chocolate metaphors, but anyone listening to the call had to come away with distinct sense that Schmidt is getting a kick out of the whole thing. After listening to this and other memorable highlights from the afternoon conference call, maybe Google should think about tweaking its corporate mantra from "Don't be Evil" to "Bore 'em Silly."