Well, well, well. It appears Microsoft’s (MSFT, $29.24, down $0.16) Steve Ballmer is not a man of his words. For someone who had said that Microsoft wouldn’t raise its offer for Yahoo (YHOO, $28.67, up $1.86) because the original offer was “fair”, Mr. Ballmer is now willing to pay not a “dime above” but $2 more to get a deal done. I say “not a dime above” because that is what he had said on Thursday.

Talk is cheap and while the news is good for Yahoo’s shareholders it lowers the drama factor. Not that I was hoping for Yahoo’s stock to drop or anything but it would have been (and still could be) interesting to see what would’ve happened had Microsoft walked away. Nothing is official but this brings the two that much closer.

Like something out of Hollywood both companies have followed the script to a “T”. But like any movie that drags on after an exciting start most people just want the thing to hurry up and be over with. Yahoo was up another $1.03 to $29.70 in after-hours trading while Microsoft shed another 12 cents.

Rick Rouse