The Wall Street Journal is reporting Microsoft is in talks with Facebook to invest $10 billion in the company hoping for future tie-ins between the Microsoft applications and those of Facebook. This comes about the same time Google is rumored to have made similar overtures to have some sort of stake in the very popular social networking site.
The people familiar with the matter said that the discussions are still preliminary and Facebook could wind up not taking an investment from either Microsoft or Google. Factors in the discussions include the valuation the suitors would offer to Facebook and other business considerations they could contribute to sweeten any deal.
Facebook, which is used by over 40 million people to set up their own personal Web pages, to communicate with each other and to share photos and videos, has emerged as the poster child for the latest Internet wave. An investment in Facebook could give Microsoft or Google greater opportunities to tie their services in with Facebook at a time when they've both recognized that social networking is changing how consumers tap into their core activities, such as Web search and email.
Still not one being on board with all this new fangled social networking stuff (and probably never will), I could see the plus side for both companies. By putting up the cash, they do get some kind of access to whatever is coming down the pike for inclusion of their respective company's offerings. Both Google and Microsoft are increasingly fighting it out in the ad revenue space as well as "destination" sites for all of their on-line applications.
From what I've heard, Facebook is somewhat a closed system to the desires of outside corporations so throwing some money at them may open the doors a little more. What that will mean for Facebook users is still unclear. My hunch is most would probably welcome Google but frown on Microsoft and that may ultimately make the decision for the owner of Facebook.
He doesn't look like a Microsoft kinda guy to me.