We'll never know whether a Microhoo would have been a best-of-both mix-up ready to challenge Google with hot new consumer offerings, or whether it would have been a horrible culture clash that brought both companies to their knees.
I have to say I was surprised when Microsoft pulled out (as were many analysts who knew a lot more than me).
Yahoo's shares tumbled as expected, down 15 percent to $24.37 at Monday's close. Microsoft dropped just a smidge (16 cents), and Google bumped up 2 percent on the news.
In the midst of the collapsed-deal finger pointing, though, some suggest that a buyout could still happen.
"The acquisition of BEA Systems Inc. by Oracle Corp., completed last week, could provide a model for Microsoft. Oracle, the Redwood City business softwaremaker, withdrew its offer for the rival San Jose company last year after being rebuffed, only to swoop in later with an $8.5 billion bid that was ultimately accepted."
TechCrunch also cites a Citigroup analyst as saying "an eventual combination with Microsoft is still 15% likely."
Me, I'm not even going to try and make a prediction. But I do hope that whatever happens, Yahoo sticks around as a strong Internet player, with a cohesive overall plan capable of making the most of its top-notch sites and services.