Holy crap.

Software giant Microsoft has made an unsolicited $44.6 billion US bid for Internet media company Yahoo! Inc.

Microsoft, the world’s biggest software maker, offered $31 US a share in cash or stock for Yahoo!, a 62 per cent premium over the stock’s closing price Thursday.

“We have great respect for Yahoo!, and together we can offer an increasingly exciting set of solutions for consumers, publishers and advertisers while becoming better positioned to compete in the online services market,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft.