Mz6 writes "One faction within Microsoft is promoting a bold strategy in the company's battle with Google: Join forces with Yahoo. That would be a major departure for Microsoft, the software maker that is legendary for toiling on its own until it captures a new market. However, people familiar with the situation say that Microsoft has considered the idea of acquiring a stake in Yahoo, and that the two companies have discussed possible options over the course of the past year. Currently, talks of an equity stake in Yahoo don't appear to be active, given that Microsoft is focusing on a reorganization that it hopes will re-energize its effort to compete with Google. Two wild cards remain: Steve Ballmer, who has historically shunned large acquisitions, and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, whose support would be key to bringing the necessary Yahoo shareholders on board for a deal. Mr. Yang and others in Yahoo would be hard-pressed to sell to Microsoft, people close to the company say. However, people familiar with Microsoft say its top management remains open to a deal with Yahoo as pressure grows to perform better against Google. The increasing pressure on Microsoft -- not just from Google, but also from its own shareholders, as well as from advertisers that want an alternative to Google -- could help to justify the acquisition or some kind of business collaboration, these people say."