A little over a year ago, Microsoft and Facebook created a partnership that boosted revenue for the social networking company by changing the way they advertise. Then, on to this year, it was speculated that Microsoft may be interested in acquiring them altogether.
While those rumors don't seem to be true, Microsoft does it least want to have a sizable interest in Facebook and is currently in talks to purchase quite a bit of the company, up to 5%, at a cost of up to $500 million. Facebook would of course love the money to expand, and has named Microsoft as a better partner than Google:
"If you are building a business around building a platform there is one company that has done it better than anybody else -- and that is Microsoft," she said. "People have been just assuming that Google would be the best partner and that is not necessarily the case."
What's Microsoft angle in all this? They certainly don't need more revenue – but perhaps they need image. Microsoft has tried desperately, often vainly, to create a friendly face for the millions of Internet users to recognize. Most, however, still see Microsoft as they always have – a faceless corporate giant. If they want to meet people on the same level that companies like Google do, they have to change their strategy – or invest in companies who already do. Of course, a small investment now might lead to a total acquisition in the future.