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Updated: Microsoft, Yahoo Meet Again; At Standstill; Microsoft ‘Evaluating’; Yahoo Slides: Report

See update below Senior execs from Microsoft and Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) met again this week but didn’t make any progress, reports WSJ. Microsoft didn’t offer to raise its offer and Yahoo didn’t agree to begin formal negotiations, and there were no bankers present in the meeting. This is the second time the two sides have met, and it’s not clear whether this meeting had a different purpose than the last one, which was reported as basically an opportunity for Microsoft to pitch its vision.

Update: Dealbook connects the dots between this latest report and the report that leaked Monday saying Microsoft had no interest in raising its bid. The first leak, which was no accident, was designed to put the screws to Yahoo in advance of the meeting. But a Dealbook source says it backfired, and that Yahoo was furious at Microsoft’s attempt to bargain through the media. So why did Yahoo even meet with Microsoft this week if it was “furious”. See that was for show too — it needs to keep up the appearance of being in negotiations, lest its stock drift back to Earth. And this latest Yahoo leak to Dealbook… well, you get the idea.

Update 2: Talk about negotiating via media, this isn’t subtle at all… Reuters is now reporting that Microsoft is “evaluating” its offer for Yahoo in light of worsening market conditions. Earlier in the week, Microsoft was sending out the message that it wouldn’t budge upwards. Now it’s basically warning that it may lower the bid, and the “leak” has Yahoo shares slipping five percent after hours. Microsoft is up nearly two percent. And of course by putting this out after hours on a Friday, Microsoft has ensured that Yahoo twists in the wind all weekend.

— CNBC adds to the Reuters (NSDQ: RTRSY) report, citing sources who say this is all about reminding Yahoo that its current share price is all courtesy of Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT). And the network adds that Yahoo has an “all hands” management meeting planned for Monday.