So it appears [Update: or not--see below] from the stories in the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal. And usually where there's smoke, there's fire. But I wonder how much sense the deal really makes outside the mind of a Wall Street investment banker.

Sure, theoretically, a combined Microsoft and Yahoo! would present a formidable foil to Google's seemingly unstoppable momentum. But as some observers, such as Forrester Research's Charlene Li, the devil is in the details, and the details of a merger of this size, of two companies geographically dispersed and culturally different, with many overlapping services (and overlapping executives), would take many months or even years to iron out, even if there are theoretical savings and synergies. Meantime, Google sails along unencumbered by any such mess.

Clearly anything can happen in a world awash in cash and in so much fear of Google. But it seems like a smarter and more likely move would be less sweeping but much quicker deals between the two companies on advertising and media.

Update: Both our own reporting and now, this story in the Journal, indicate that talks on a deal happened months ago and are not current. As Roseanne Roseannadanna Emily Litella would say...

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