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ATT: Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

From: Bill Gates, Microsoft founder

Steve, enough already. Jerry Yang has had plenty of time to think it over. He isn't taking this seriously. What do you expect from a guy whose business card says "Chief Yahoo"? He'll keep you dangling for another year. Hit them with a hostile takeover offer, slam the board with a price they can't refuse. Time is short and the evil Googlers' market share is growing by the minute. If you don't move fast it'll be too late.

Bill

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ATT: Chris Liddell, Microsoft CFO

From: Steve Ballmer

Chris, Bill gave it the green light. He's gone loopy. He saw their quotes from that press conference at Davos, about how they're changing the world and saw how the press adores them and he can't stand it any more. We're going forward with a hostile takeover and I want a plan from the bankers lined up by Monday. Aim the price high - I want Yahoo in our yard. You know we'll never get anywhere with those clowns at MSN. We've poured billions into that but the business keeps losing, it's bleeding hundreds of millions of dollars after a decade of activity and our market share is an embarrassment. I can't stand it any more either.

Steve

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ATT: Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

From: Chris Liddell

A hostile takeover? In high tech? Of an Internet company? You must have been sniffing dandelions. Yaknow Steve, hostile takeovers are more of an East Coast thing. We here in Silicon Valley in the West were nursed on creativity and weaned on innovation, workers are our greatest asset sort of thing, enterprise culture is paramount. You can't force it. You know I hail from old-economy companies like International Paper. I can play the hostile takeover game backwards and forwards but somehow when I joined Microsoft I never thought I'd be orchestrating hostile takeovers.

By the way, I scribbled a few numbers on a napkin and figure that if we factor in Yahoo's stakes in Yahoo-Japan and Alibaba.com, we'll have to fork over say $45 billion, which means, Stevie my friend, that we'll have to borrow.

Chris

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ATT: Chris Liddell, Microsoft CFO

From: Steve Ballmer

Borrow? Are you kidding, Chris? We're the richest company in the world. Why do we have to borrow? Give them some Microstock.

Steve

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ATT: Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

From: Chris Liddell

Sorry Steve. I have to remind you that we distributed a large part of our cash as dividends, and our stock isn't exactly the hottest property in the market. I guess our share price is roughly where it was 10 years ago.

Chris

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ATT: Jerry Yang, Yahoo! CEO

From: Steve Ballmer

Jerry my friend, I didn't want to be reduced to this, but see we have no choice. Since you chose to ignore my communiques and our talks last year went nowhere, today, at the end of trading on Wall Street, we'll be filing a hostile bid for outstanding shares in Yahoo! I'd much rather do this the friendly way. You know how much respect I have for the great work you do.

Steve

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ATT: Sergei Brin, Google founder

From: Eric Schmidt, Google GEO

Dear Sergei, Sorry to bother you on your vacation, I understand you and Larry are on Richard Branson's private island. I just wanted to advise you that Microsoft has tabled a $45 billion hostile bid for Yahoo. We have to talk when you get back.

Eric

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ATT: Eric Schmidt, Google GEO

From: Sergei Brin, Google founder

My dear Eric, You know you're never a bother. We aren't on Richard's island, we're on a mission to save dolphins in Alaska. I told Larry the news and he says there's nothing to worry about. It's the lame leading the blind - they'll never birth a proper search engine out of that marriage. After a huge fuss and lots of job losses and mud-slinging, or as they call it, synergy, they'll still be two companies with different organizational cultures and two terrible search engines. Tell you what, when we get back we'll call Jerry. I bet he's as eager to work for Bill and Steve as turkeys are for Thanksgiving to arrive.

Sergei

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ATT: Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

From: Jerry Yang

Dear Steve, I was very disappointed at your letter and ensuing takeover offer. I thought that as a high-tech entrepreneur, you'd understand the pointlessness of trying to effect a hostile takeover of an Internet company. You must realize that all the good workers would flee. Brute force isn't the way in technology. I advise you to rethink your offer.

Jerry

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ATT:Jerry Yang, Yahoo! CEO

From: Steve Ballmer

Dear Jerry, I find your attitude regrettable. I think you're stuck somewhere in 2000. Get it, we're in 2008 and Internet is now a mature business. With all due respect to your great talents, and we do have respect, I think that cost-cutting, bigger market shares and money talk just as loudly as they ever did. While about it, I do recommend you copy-paste this link into a browser window - http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?t=1y&s=YHOO&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=&c=%5EIXIC. It leads to your excellent website, Yahoo Finance, and compares the behavior of Yahoo's share price with the benchmark index - Nasdaq. With a graph like that you're hardly in a position to argue and if you don't get that, your board of directors will.

Cordially,

Steve

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ATT: Sergei Brin

From: Jerry Yang

Sergei - we have to talk. Let's put aside all those ugly battles over the search market and all the nasty things we said about one another. The last thing I want now is Bill and Steve around my neck and I suspect you don't like the idea either. Let's brainstorm this. I'm sure you can help us stay independent.

Jerry

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ATT: Jerry

From: Sergei

Dear Jerry, Larry, Lucy, Anne and I will be at a charity ball this evening, which is raising money for homeless dogs in Palo Alto, and tomorrow Green Week starts - all of us will be painting all the bicycles and scooters at the Googleplex in green. Talk with Eric, he's in the loop. Gotta run,

Sergei

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ATT: Bill Gates

From: Steve Ballmer

Bill, It's going to be a tough slog. Our public relations people gave me precis of the 82,000 articles published this week about our move on Yahoo, of which six supported the merger and said it would benefit surfers and search quality. The way the press and bloggers suck up to those googlers and yahoos is sticky and disgusting.

Steve

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ATT: Steve

From: Bill

Steve, Steve, Why do I have to repeat myself again and again? We. Are. Buying. Yahoo. And. That's. That. Don't you see that in five or 10 years our world of operating systems and software will look like a sorry joke next to the world of online advertising and search? Don't you realize these two will destroy us? Don't buy their fairy stories about intending only to do good and all that do-no-evil crap. They came to do good exactly like we came to do good to all those companies we swallowed, chewed up and spat out in the last decade. When their search engine achieves a 70% market share, the story will be over. MOVE IT! Melinda and I are inaugurating a hospital for malaria in Zimbabwe right now and reception here is terrible, but try my cellular. It's on me at all times. Call.

Bill