In an attempt to slow Google's fierce roll, Microsoft made an unsolicited bid to purchase Yahoo Inc. for a cool $44.6 billion today. Gulp. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says that his company has "great respect for Yahoo, and together we can offer an increasingly exciting set of solutions for consumers, publishers and advertisers while becoming better positioned to compete in the online services market."

Although Yahoo would like to remain independent, recent layoffs and slow growth will probably make the Sunnyvale company cave in to Microsoft's siren song. But the news, in the end, is good: according to Valleywag, "Yahoo share prices closed at $19.12 yesterday, but have already increased to $29.45 in premarket trading."

More to come.