Todd Bishop’s Microsoft goes after biggest buy ever to catch up with Google in the Seattle PI has the most common framing:

Could a PC software giant and an Internet icon join forces to take on the Web search king?

That was the big question Friday as Microsoft Corp. stunned the online world with a bid to buy Yahoo! Inc. for nearly $45 billion in cash and stock — a blockbuster proposal that could reshape the industry by combining two tech veterans in a battle against search leader Google.

Steve Lohr covers similar ground in Yahoo Offer Is Strategy Shift for Microsoft (no, ya think?) in the New York Times.

Analyst Henry Blodgett’s take: “This is a brilliant move by Microsoft–a big premium dangled in front of battered Yahoo shareholders, but a price that would have seemed absurdly low as recently as six months ago.” who da’ punk is more skeptical, but keeping his mind open:

My first reaction: “That’s a lot to pay for flickr.

If the buy goes through, it will be one huge turning point for Microsoft: I think we’ll either turn it around brilliantly and our mega-investment will be worth it, or we’ll be torn asunder and revert back to our core cash cows. It will be a story worth telling, one way or the other. In the meantime, that big huge money-chest is going to go empty, and that might bring a new sense of clarity to our operations.

My initial reaction is surprisingly positive, although obviously the risks are high. More thought required, of course, and I reserve the right to change my mind on further reflection. That said, this fundamentally and irrevocably shifts the center of gravity at Microsoft away from the past and towards the future.

More in my comment on Mini, along with excellent comments from Anonymous @1:30 a.m. from Microsoft’s Live Services group in Silicon Valley (“So so negative here, and so much backward thinking”), my pal patronizer (“Everybody knows that the recommended cure for Yahoo’s woes was to outsource their search back to Google. It’s an economic (and technologic) no-brainer. Want to avoid that? Got to pay.”) and others.

It’s on Slashdot too, although currently the discussion on Mini is noticeably better.


Update: New thread on Mini over the weekend, updated after Google’s response.