It’s not the first time the west coast software giant has gone after Yahoo, but it’s very likely to be the last. The offer on the table this time around, a modest $44.6 billion. Microsoft’s offer represents a premium of approximately 65% over yesterday’s closing price and that should be enough to get the job done. Despite having hundreds of millions of users globally, an 8% revenue increase in 2007 and currently being ranked #1 in traffic by, Yahoo has had a remarkably bumpy ride of late. The search engine turned web service provider scraped up about $660 million in profits in 2007, down roughly 13% from 2006. Yahoo is also expected to layoff hundreds of employees in the coming months in an effort to increase profitability. Analysts and basically anyone with a keyboard seem to agree that the timing for this acquisition couldn’t be better, and the deal is expected to go through unless a surprise third-party pops up to intervene with a competitive bid. Yahoo’s first official response to the bid:

Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO), a leading global Internet company, today said that it has received an unsolicited proposal from Microsoft to acquire the Company. The Company said that its Board of Directors will evaluate this proposal carefully and promptly in the context of Yahoo!’s strategic plans and pursue the best course of action to maximize long-term value for shareholders.