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The world’s top software company could boost its online presence dramatically if Yahoo accepts a $44.6 billion bid to be purchased.

Microsoft has offered Yahoo shareholders a 62 percent premium on their shares to sell the company. Yahoo’s latest disappointing earnings announcement helped to depress the stock price, making it a renewed target for a takeover.

We have 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“, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement.

With online advertising projected to grow to $80 billion by 2010, Microsoft can grab a larger slice of that pie if it can pull in Yahoo, which ranks as the world’s heaviest trafficked web property.

What does the world think about this? First step: pick your jaw off floor.

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