Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has been silent on the offer to acquire Yahoo. He has been purposely taking a back seat to CEO Steve Ballmer and Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie in lieu of his retirement from active duty in a few months. He officially exits day-to-day activities in July to focus on his philanthropic foundation.
In a Reuters interview on Monday he offered a few remarks on the deal, calling Microsoft's Yahoo bid "very fair", and emphasizing Microsoft's need to be more competitive in Web search.
"We can afford to make big investments in the engineering and marketing that needs to get done. We will do that with or without Yahoo," Gates said."But we also see that we'd get there faster if the great engineering work that Yahoo has done and the great engineers there were part of the common effort."
It will take a bit more than Gates patting Yahoo on the back and calling the offer very fair to get the deal done. He is also telegraphing to Yahoo that while he views the union as a shortcut to competing more effectively with Google, Microsoft isn't a desperate suitor. Next move Yahoo.