According to Slashdot it appears that the Microsoft purchase of Yahoo is back on. While the hostile takeover is still a possibility and Yahoo are still looking at the alternatives, i.e. AOL, News Corp. or Google, this is the first time Microsoft has really presented it's plans to Yahoo. Assuming the Microsoft execs have their heads screwed on they will outline a plan that involves the merging of the MSN and Windows live brands into the Yahoo brand and the eventual disappearance of the MSN brand. They will also outline the freedom that the Yahoo engineers will have to innovate and produce excellent products without Redmond dictating what they can't do due to the position of the Office and Windows divisions.
While it will be at least 2 years before we see the real benefits of this takeover the formation of a true competitor to Google should spark more innovation online. In the current marketplace Microsoft is the small and nimble competitor who can experiment with new ideas whereas Google and the lumbering giant who cannot risk gambling on ideas that would dilute their current user base. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft can use this to their advantage and build the Microsoft/Yahoo brand into a Google beater.