I was bemused to read in this morning’s Financial Times that Yell.com has agreed a deal with Microsoft that will see the indebted publisher of Yellow Pages business directories sell Microsoft cloud solutions to customers in Europe and the Americas. The Register also has the story, but doesn’t really comment on the implications. According to the FT, Yell’s share price jumped 16% following the announcement, so investors are clearly happy. There’s certainly value in Microsoft using partners to sell its services; those partners know their customers and their markets, and can package Microsoft solutions with other services tailored to specific customer needs. But which businesses feel an affinity to Yell.com that would see them buy cloud hosting or cloud-based productivity apps there rather than from someone else? I remain bemused.