Even though the two companies haven't been able to agree to a complete buyout or partnership for more than one year, it's possible Microsoft and Yahoo will be able to work together at some point in the future.
Microsoft’s intentions of buying Yahoo -- which it tried to do last year -- isn't possible any more, but a partnership can still be arranged.
"I have said many times that we no longer are interested in acquiring Yahoo, but we'd see the potential to create real value by partnering with Yahoo," according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "I have said many times that when the time is right I'm sure we will have such discussions and I've said many times I'm not going to tell you when the time is right."
Earlier this month, Microsoft and Yahoo executives met to discuss new business ventures that both sides could work on together.
Since the global economy continues to struggle, and both companies continue to lose ground to Google, now may be an ideal time for some type of search advertising deal, analysts believe. Both companies aren't able to deal with the economy and Google, as Microsoft's third-quarter profit dropped 32 percent, and the advertising revenue is expected to struggle throughout 2009.
Former Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang -- who rejected Microsoft's $47.5 billion buyout offer last spring -- was heavily criticized and later replaced with Carol Bartz announcing she'd be willing to work with Microsoft.
Microsoft executives have been pestered about possible mergers of software or hardware companies, especially after Oracle announced it plans to purchase Sun Microsystems. Microsoft is more interested in working in the cloud, and doesn't have immediate plans to purchase a hardware company.