The deadline has passed, there's silence from both sides so does this mean Microsoft is going for the neck - is a proxy battle for Yahoo on the cards?

Yahoo was given three weeks to accept the computing giant's $44.6 billion offer and then, said Microsoft chief exec Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's "generous" offer would be lowered and his team would go straight to yahoo's shareholders, and then launch a proxy battle to oust the board.

The deadline has passed.

Now - there's silence but Reuters has already polled those canny chaps on Wall Street who now say a long, drawn-up battle is looking very likely.

And - despite weeks of rumours of talks with AOL and even Google - a Plan B for Yahoo, say analysts, may just be a myth.

In separate news, Microsoft has disappointed investors with less than stellar quarterly results.

Chief financial officer Chris Liddell acknowledged the weak US economy but also admitted Windows software sales haven't been as strong as hoped, and the company continues to have to pump funds into fighting piracy.