According to The Journal, the Microsoft / Yahoo merger talks which first took place a year ago (and then again "in recent months", as was discovered today) turned up nil -- that's right, the deal's off. Again. Not that it was ever on. Anyway, apparently discussions are in fact no longer active, and it was concluded that competing is apparently marginally more productive than merging for the two mammoth businesses. (Seriously, can you imagine how much product overlap there would have been between the two?) And trust us, the last thing 75k-large Microsoft needs right now is another personnel infusion of over ten thousand people having a hard enough time as it is keeping up with the business. Bottom line: looks like both companies are on their own against the big G. Best of luck to 'em. [Warning: subscription required for read link]