Microsoft announced it was abandoning its attempted acquisition of Yahoo!, according to a statement from Microsoft. Steve Balmer, Microsoft CEO, said “Yahoo! will never know how good they could have had it,” “We continue to believe that our proposed acquisition made sense for Microsoft, Yahoo and the market as a whole. Our goal in pursuing a combination with Yahoo was to provide greater choice and innovation in the marketplace and create real value for our respective stockholders and employees.”

I think the marriage would have done more to hurt what had been Yahoo! than help the combined company. As I said in MacJury #802, there were too many not only cultural differences, but technology differences to overcome. Most Yahoo! developers probably didn’t even use Microsoft development tools, and it’s hard to see how Microsoft could have practically moved Yahoo!’s properties over to its development platform.

Apparently, now we’ll never know.

[Update: Yahoo! shares dropped over $4 a share to $24.43 in this first day of trading since the Microsoft announcement. Not too bad, though, as Daring Fireball’s John Gruber notes, Yahoo! stock was trading at $19 when Microsoft began its takeover bid.]