Monday, June 26, 2006

Merrill: Positives seen in big Microsoft buy

CNET "With Google taking a dominant lead in the Internet search market, it looks increasingly likely that Microsoft could make a large acquisition, such as of Yahoo, Merrill Lynch said on Friday.
A move by Microsoft to acquire Yahoo would speed up the software giant's efforts to build its search business, boost its Asian presence and eliminate a rival, according to the report.
The report, written by Merrill Lynch analyst Justin Post, comes at a critical period for Microsoft. The company, whose Windows operating system runs an estimated 90 percent of the world's personal computers, is struggling to find sources of growth beyond its traditional business.
What is more, founder Bill Gates said earlier this month that over the next two years he planned to ease out of a day-to-day role at the company, and stepped down immediately as its chief software architect.
Such pressures at Microsoft, which has seen its stock fall more than 10 percent over the past year, have given rise to speculation that it could consider a major acquisition such as Yahoo or eBay. "

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