According to reports, Microsoft's bid to acquire Yahoo through a proxy fight (an unfriendly takeover where the company's shareholders vote on whether or not to replace the Board of Directors) will be an uphill battle. Once you count the shares of the current directors and officers hold along with the "institutional investors," a quarter of whom will reportedly look unfavorably on the merger, nearly one third of the shares are likely to vote to refuse the buyout without an increase in Microsoft's bid price. One factor that is likely to influence the proceedings is Yahoo's earnings report for the second quarter, which is due to be announced April 22.
Microsoft's desire to acquire Yahoo is almost certainly driven at least in part by the recognition that Google has been rated the "Most Powerful Brand," just ahead of General Electric and Microsoft. Microsoft has been scrambling lately to add value to their brand and to that end has launched a Beta test of their "Albany" web-based application suite, which is believed to be closely related to Microsoft Works. Of course, this move comes long after Google's offering to the web application space and may be to little, too late.
Google Rated Most Powerful Brand (PC World)
Microsoft Discovers Why People Like Google Apps, Launches "Albany" (Silicon Alley Insider)
Count me out for ad-funded Works (ZDNet)
Obviously, Microsoft is not going away. However, they have been on the top of the computer industry for so long that they appear to be having trouble accepting that they might get knocked off of their hill. How far do you think the Redmond based giant is willing to go to see that it remains on top?