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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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March 6, 2008 11:06 AM

Microsoft-Yahoo bid rumors; Ballmer joins Sonics full-court press; iPhone works with Exchange

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

The New York Post chimed in this morning on Yahoo's move to postpone the deadline for nominating candidates for its board of directors -- seen as an effort to stave off Microsoft's acquisition. The Post's unnamed sources expect this to push Microsoft to take a more aggressive strategy.

"'[Microsoft CEO Steve] Ballmer is just one of many highly emotional people involved in this,'' said a source who has spoken with executives at both companies. ''Microsoft has been trying to avoid going completely hostile, but now it is going to get completely hostile.'"

More substantive details in the story, again from unnamed sources: Microsoft has readied a slate of Yahoo director candidates and could submit it as soon as next week. It is considering changing its bid to all cash. The value of the current bid, which is half stock and half cash, changes with Microsoft's stock price, and is down from $44.6 billion when it was announced to $41.5 billion, as of Wednesday's closing price.

In other Steve Ballmer news, we're reporting today that he is part of the group of Seattle businessmen trying to keep the Sonics in Seattle. Remember that Microsoft HR boss Lisa Brummel is part of the team buying the storm. (When that news was announced, I wondered whether she would help get Ballmer to jump in on the Sonics and speculated that Microsoft might end up with naming rights for an arena.)

Ballmer goes on stage this afternoon at Mix in Las Vegas. I doubt the Sonics will come up in his Q&A with Guy Kawasaki, but Yahoo might. I'm not expecting him to say anything substantially different from what he said earlier this week. Check back here for details.

Interesting news out of Apple's iPhone SDK event this morning: The iPhone will work with Exchange, Microsoft's server software for running and synchronizing corporate email, calendar and contacts. Mary Jo Foley saw this coming last summer, reporting that Apple had licensed Exchange ActiveSync, the technology needed to hook up mobile devices with Exchange. The move should make the iPhone more appealing to business users. At the same time, you'll recall, Microsoft is trying to make its mobile offerings more appealing to consumers with the acquisition of Danger and the creation of a new Premium Mobile Experiences team.

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