Microsoft's rank-and-file employees don't want to merge the company with Yahoo. During today's companywide town hall meeting, one of them asked CEO Steve Ballmer to explain the attraction. The helpful transcriptionists at Silicon Alley Insider typed up Ballmer's answer. We've reduced it to an SMS-friendly version, below.

The future of the way people consume information is going to change in the next 10 years dramatically. We are committed to leading. We are not today leading. We've got very talented bright people. But there are some structural things in the industry that make it hard to make rapid progress. We need to gain scale. Yahoo accelerates scale. Gets us more advertisers, gets us search. Yahoo's not a strategy. It's a part of a strategy. I know exactly what I think Yahoo is worth and I won't go a dime above. We've got three big options: the friendly deal, an unfriendly deal, [or] simply to walk away. If Yahoo doesn't happen there's a number of other things we'll look at.