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Sep 24 2007   3:42PM GMT

Facebook face off: Microsoft takes on Google again



Posted by: badarrow
Tags:
Barbara Darrow
Google
Microsoft
Software as a service (SaaS)

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday afternoon that Microsoft wants a piece of the Facebook franchise. (For those without a Journal subscription here’s a related account.)

Microsoft wants to buy a stake in the popular social networking site which quickly grew beyond its college kid roots. Such an interest is yet another potential area of contention with Google, which also wants a piece of Facebook.

The Journal and others have reported that Microsoft, Yahoo, Google have all expressed interest in Facebook and some have even pitched an outright acquisition although it is believed that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg would like to take the privately-held company public.


The fervent interest in Facebook, which lets students, and increasingly business people, create their own profile, build their own network of friends, family and colleagues, and share information within that network.

The Facebook frenzy shows how consumer-oriented technologies—instant messaging is another example–keep infiltrating the business world and how solution providers have to follow these trends.

Microsoft could use Facebook, with which it already has an ad-placement contract, to bolster its own ad-delivery service business which thus far lags far behind Google’s business.

In related news, the Journal also reported earlier today that Microsoft is backing a stealth PR campaign to spur resistance to Google’s proposed buyout of Doubleclick, the online ad specialist.

All of this shows how important online ads and related services have become to Microsoft’s view of its future.

Barbara Darrow, a Boston-area journalist, can be reached at badarrow@comcast.net.

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