Finally Some Quotables From Gates On Microsoft/Yahoo

Microsoft Corp plans to invest heavily in Web search to compete against Google Inc, even if it fails to acquire Yahoo Inc, the company’s chairman Bill Gates said on Monday.

"But we also see that we’d get there faster if the great engineering work that Yahoo has done and the great engineers there were part of the common effort," said Gates, who is Microsoft’s biggest shareholder.

Link.  I think this is Gates giving us the straight talk from Microsoft.  I wonder if there is anyway to circumvent any regulatory issues on search before the acquisition goes through.  For (a ludicrous) example, Microsoft can do a deal with Yahoo and have IE7’s searchbox default to Yahoo.  Of course this is pretty blatant but I’m wondering if there are any backdoors here that we don’t see yet.