Yahoo Inc's board of directors is to meet on Friday to discuss Microsoft Corp's $44.6 billion buyout offer, the TechCrunch blog said, citing unnamed sources.

Yahoo officials could not immediately be reached.

According to the report, Yahoo's outside advisers are in favor of a deal, despite the interest of some executives to seek an alternative tie-up with Web search leader Google Inc.

Analysts have said Microsoft could be persuaded to raise its $31 per share unsolicited bid, above a 62 percent premium when the offer was first made public last week, to make it easier for Yahoo co-founder and Chief Executive Jerry Yang and his board to accept.

Yahoo investor Capital Research and Management met with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Thursday to see whether he would be willing to raise the bid, the New York Post reported, citing a source familiar with the meeting.

Yahoo shares were down 12 cents at $28.92 on the Nasdaq.