It's hard for me to put a lot into this post given the extensive coverage the topic has already gotten. I, like most, think Microsoft dodged a bullet whether they realize it or not. Yahoo on the other hand was in a bad place before Microsoft made the offer and has now lost a lot of time, money and valuable employees as a result of the offer. They're obviously in some trouble.
A lot points to this not being over. AOL might ride in and try the merger talks again, Google might cut Yahoo a sweet heart deal and Jerry Yang might get fired encouraging Microsoft to take another shot. For now, no one knows.
But all that has been said to death on just about every other blog so I'll digress. There are two unique things I think I can add to this. Two items I haven't seen addressed elsewhere. Those are...
1. Microsoft needs to target Yahoo now: I don't think Yahoo was worth much to Microsoft but it does have value. In particular, its valuable to any company that wants to beat Microsoft over the head with it. A permanent Ad deal with Google or a merger with AOL could both cut into Microsoft's already miniscule bottom lines in both search and ad sales.
This is strategy 101: first try to get the weapon. If you can't get the weapon next try to deprive your enemy of it.
Microsoft now has $44 billions burning a hole in its pocket and I think they should consider using a lot of it to tear Yahoo apart. Stealing as many great employees and valuable customers as possible gives Microsoft part of what they wanted at a fraction of the cost.
2. Google might not be a Winner here: Many have pegged Google as a winner but I'm not so sure. We in the United States have one of the most "Open Market" oriented Presidents in recent history right now. That is a fact that is going to change in a few short months (no matter who wins the next election).
Google is already skating really close to the anti-trust line and having MicroHoo to refute that accusation might have worked in their advantage when the time comes. An ad deal with Yahoo on the other hand has the opposite effect.
That's it for me on this. I'm posting this at 11:15pm so Black Monday is just around the corner. I suspect things will be a lot clearer once we see how that pans out.