Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer is always good for a controversial statement. His latest came during a Q&A session after a speech to developers in Sydney, Australia. After a question about the relevance of Internet Explorer, Ballmer commented that Microsoft "may take a look" at using the open source browser engine WebKit for Internet Explorer. While this was surely just a throw-away comment, the tech blogosphere immediately jumped on it.

At another meeting in Sydney, Ballmer also announced that Microsoft was definitely not interested in reconsidering an acquisition of Yahoo.

Yahoo

According to the Associated Press, Ballmer clearly stated his disinterest in going back to the negotiating table with Yahoo anytime soon. Just two days ago, Yahoo's CEO Jerry Yang said that he would consider another offer from Microsoft. Ballmer, however, also acknowledged that "some kind of partnership around search" might still be an option.

Microsoft and WebKit

Looking at the video of Ballmer talking about Webkit (he talks about it at about the 38:50 mark), it quickly becomes clear that Microsoft has no interest in supporting WebKit. Ballmer talks about the importance of web standards and how Apple used WebKit for building its own browser. Ballmer also states that he feels confident about Microsoft's ability to develop interesting browser technologies itself.

While it would surely be interesting if Microsoft did indeed use WebKit for its browser, and while it would also make sense on many levels, it seems that we are still a long way off from seeing an open-source based Internet Explorer.