The quote that really brought my intention to the article was this:
Ballmer says: "Yahoo, the brand, will live."
What does this mean to me?
Microsoft is willing to dump $45 billion dollars into the market to take the second position. Technology? They do not care one bit about it. What Yahoo uses and develops is at odds with what Microsoft promotes.
Whether redirects to MS's front pages will last long term is an excellent question. I have some real doubts about that. It would also seem that Yahoo could take a number of directions to poison pill this.
Jabber Yahoo could move their IM to Jabber and open up the valves of the IM market. Effectively commoditizing the IM market into "Microsoft vs Jabber".
Search Hook up with Wikia Search and establish a commodity market around search (http://search.wikia.com/wiki/Search_Wikia).
Far more strategic people then I can come up with plenty of plans.
A final thought on if this acquisition goes through?
MySQL is hiring :)
I mean Sun... something like that...