Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said emphatically that his company will not make a renewed bid for Yahoo. His comments come after Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang said yesterday that Yahoo, which spent months dodging Microsoft’s bid, is now their best option.

Yang said he remains open to selling Yahoo at the right price, adding “people who know me know I don’t have an ego about remaining independent versus not remaining independent.” Ballmer left room open for future partnerships based on the two companies’ search engines, but was definitive on the point that Microsoft does not plan to acquire Yahoo.

With no Microsoft bid in sight and its Google partnership dead on arrival, Yahoo has reached what many analysts conclude is a strategic dead-end.

Why are Yahoo shareholders so in love with this guy?