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Yahoo sign at the 3GSM telecoms industry trade show in Barcelona on Feb. 11, 2008. - 


Lisa Napoli: The clock ticks toward the ultimatum Microsoft's given Yahoo. Tomorrow is the day Microsoft said it would go hostile, if Yahoo didn't acquiesce and accept Microsoft's offer of a buy-up. Alisa Roth looks at what Saturday really means.

Alisa Roth: Microsoft's profit fell more than 10 percent in the third quarter. But it was still better than analysts had expected. And the company's promising a good year in 2009. (2009 starts in July for Microsoft.) The giant also threatened to walk away from its offer to take over Yahoo, a move analyst Laura Didio says is really just a lot of posturing.

Laura Didio: You've got Yahoo playing hard to get, and now Microsoft saying, OK, well, maybe we don't want you that much anyway.

She says there always a very remote possibility Microsoft could give up. Or that a white knight could gallop up to save Yahoo from the dragon. But she really thinks it's more like how much will Microsoft end up paying for Yahoo, rather than if Microsoft will end up paying for Yahoo. Meanwhile, she says, tomorrow's deadline for Yahoo to make a move might not mean much, since Microsoft's CEO made it up.

Didio: It's a deadline that was imposed by Steve Ballmer, so it means whatever Steve Ballmer wants it to mean.

In New York, I'm Alisa Roth for Marketplace.