"We continue to have a very close dialogue with Yahoo's shareholders (and) Yahoo's management," Microsoft senior vice president Jean-Philippe Courtois said.
"We simply hope for what we think is a very nice merger in terms of economies of scale, research and development, innovation, data centers...(and) to play a major role in the world," he told AFP after a press conference here.
Yahoo spurned Microsoft's 44.6-billion-dollar bid for the veteran Internet firm on February 11. Courtois declined to comment on prospects of a hostile offer.
Microsoft is currently offering a combination cash and stock deal initially valued at 31 dollars per share but which fluctuates with the price of Microsoft shares.
Yahoo's board is said to believe the company is worth at least 40 dollars per share.
Courtois, who heads Microsoft's international division, also said his firm was taking steps to become more open after EU regulators on Wednesday fined the software giant a record 899 million euros for defying a 2004 anti-trust ruling.
"This fine is about the past," he said.
The European Commission fined Microsoft 497 million euros in March 2004 and ordered the company to open some key software to rivals so they could make compatible products.
In July 2006, the commission fined the company a further 280 million euros after determining that it was not respecting its original ruling.
The latest penalty, the sum of daily fines running from June 21, 2006 to October 21, 2007, was imposed because Microsoft failed to charge rivals reasonable prices for access to key information about its work-group or back-office servers in contravention of the 2004 ruling.
Microsoft on Thursday announced that the head of its Japanese subsidiary, Darren Huston, was stepping down. He will be replaced on April 1 by the current chief operating officer, Yasuyuki Higuchi.
Huston is expected to be appointed as vice president of a new Microsoft division, Consumer & Online International Group.