the other shoe drops
Microsoft buys aQuantive for $6 billion. And chiming in with the best instant analysis is Stifel Nicolaus analyst Scott Devitt (via Reuters):
"It lowers the probability that Microsoft is buying Yahoo, at least in the near-term. Microsoft may be more interested in piecemealing together the highest-quality franchises that replicate what Yahoo already has."
What I love about this is the ANDness of it. The recognition that growth for MSFT in online advertising will need to come both from their own online properties (MSN, LIve, etc.) and from sites out of their control. And yes, Google's recognized this for a while...