Search was the quarter’s bright spot – well, relatively speaking – for Microsoft’s online business. But one wonders if two of Microsoft’s biggest search partners see things that way. Microsoft’s Facebook ad partnership has always been more about potential than actual money. At one point, I thought Microsoft might build an ad network for Facebook, something that looks like an extreme longshot these days as Microsoft writes down aQuantive and Facebook tests its own search-related ads. At the same time, Danny Sullivan takes a historical look at how the Yahoo-Microsoft search partnership has never really paid off for either company. He thinks that if it comes to renegotiating the deal, Microsoft will do what it takes to hold on to Yahoo. I suspect he’s right. But that still doesn’t solve the issue of closing Microsoft’s search revenue gap with Google.