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“Exciting” really is not the word. Thrilling, exhilarating, comparable even to the buildup surrounding Super Bowl weekend. The news of Microsoft making a bid for Yahoo has made even the numbest of technophobes sit upright in their La-Z-Boy armchairs.

But while the regulators scrutinize the deal, Wall Street and shareholders rub their hands, and online commentators foam at the month, what should the channel make of the announcement?

On the face of it, it is a purely consumer-focused deal. Microsoft is throwing down the gauntlet to young whipper snapper (or perhaps not so anymore) Google, and is attempting to take its place in the technology of the future.

But there will be channel implications, although it provokes more questions than it answers right now. What, for example, will Microsoft do with Yahoo’s small-business services? Will the channel get involved? Will Microsoft use Yahoo to help flesh out its offering in the software-as-a-service arena? And if so, will the channel fit in here at all? How will Microsoft bundle its Live technology into a combined offering with Yahoo — and is that likely to squeeze channel players out of the way?

According to a letter Steve Ballmer sent to the Yahoo board, he wants the company to “compete better in online services” — let’s just hope that it’s a move the software giant plans to include its channel in.