There had to be sighs of relief when Yahoo reported that its income in the first quarter of 2008 was three times that of the previous year, at $542.2 millionagainst $142.4 million in the same period of ’07. Part of that – a big part – came from the sale of Chinese company Alibaba.com, whichbrought in a healthy $401 million. That means the figures are actually a little distorted. But will they buy Yahoo some breathing space against Microsoft’s $44.6 billion bid? The answer is yes and no. The figures mean that Microsoft probably won’t be able to get away with paying a lowerprice, but the Redmond giant remains committed to mounting a hostile takeover if Yahoo hasn’t succumbed to its advances by April 26. Yahoo head Jerry Yang hasn’t ruled out aMicrosoft deal, but is also exploring other options, including alliances with other companies, including a two-week ad trial with Google. "Our boardand management team continue to be open to any and all alternatives, including a Microsoft deal," he said.