With Yahoo! appointing Carol Bartz as its new CEO, the company wasted no time in picking up where it left off with Microsoft. According to a report in "The New York Times," Yahoo! chairman Roy Bostock met secretly with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sometime in the past week. The details of the meeting, however, are unknown.

Microsoft's storied attempts to purchase Yahoo! over the last year are well known, and of course the software giant later attempt to buy just Yahoo!'s search business as well. All of those deals were rebuffed by then-Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang, who was subsequently asked to step down.

The Ballmer/Bostock meeting was at least the second high-level meeting between the two companies in the past week. Bartz revealed last week that she, too, had met with Microsoft after being confirmed as the new Yahoo! CEO. The meetings suggest that the companies are working to hammer out a deal around Yahoo!'s search business. But it's unclear if that means an-all sale to Microsoft or another type of agreement.

Ballmer has said in recent weeks that he is still open in some kind of deal around Yahoo!'s Web search and advertising businesses. And Bartz is seen as a pragmatic businessperson, one who would agree that a deal of some kind was in the best financial interests of the ailing Internet giant.