[Update: Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb expands on my thoughts in this post about the many useful Yahoo apps we can still enjoy.]
I woke up this morning, at the other side of the pond, to the news that Microsoft had walked away from its offer to buy Yahoo. Apparently Microsoft had increased its offer by $4 a share to $33, but Jerry Yang demanded $37 to accept the offer, a price Steve Ballmer considered unjustified, so he instead folded. It seems like Microsoft seriously considered a hostile takeover, but were intimidated by Yahoo's threat to pursue its search advertising deal with Google.
This is not good news for the Yahoo shareholders, who expected to make a few bucks on the deal, and probably is not good for Microsoft, who will continue to linger in the backwater of Web 2.0. For the rest of us, an independent Yahoo, free at least at the moment from the jaws of Microsoft, is good news. We can continue to enjoy services like delicious, flickr and pipes. We can hope for Yahoo's continuous adoption of semantic technologies and other open standards, as well as further opening up of their services through APIs and web services. If just Yahoo survives the foreseen struggle with disgruntled share holders, an important player will remain on the web arena.