In a surprising turn of events, Microsoft is now indicating it would be willing to raise the value of its offer to buy Yahoo — something it has publicly stated multiple times it would not do. Microsoft leaked to The Wall Street Journal that it is willing to go as high as $33-a-share (well above the current deal now valued at just over $29-a-share).

Of course, the raising of the bid isn’t all that surprising. We’ve stated multiple times that Microsoft would jump at the chance to raise the bid if it thought it would get the deal done quickly. The surprising part is that this maneuver still may not get the deal done quickly, because Yahoo is now thought to want in the upper $30s-a-share.

And so the saga continues…

Still, with Microsoft now showing it is willing to move, and the sides being as close as only $2-a-share off, it would seem more likely than ever that a (somewhat) amicable agreement can and will be reached. That is, unless Yahoo is simply playing games and continuing to move the carrot just a little farther beyond Microsoft’s reach as it inches closer.

If that is the case, expect the hostilities to commence or a complete disengagement any day now. This calm can only last so long.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget about the whole Google/Yahoo search advertising charade, which is still going on. The Wall Street Journal says that is still playing a role in all of this as well.