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Microsoft Strolls The Rumor Treadmill

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[ Social Media]

As the company continues to tack upon the seas of Windows Live, Microsoft has been predicted to have a stop scheduled at the shores of social media.

Could Captain Steve Ballmer and his little buddy, Bill Gates, really have Eurekster in their acquisition sights? That certainly seems to make more financial sense than the Facebook buy that a certain hack suggested in late March.

Search Engine Watch’s Danny Sullivan picked up the Eurekster-Microsoft vibe from BusinessWeek, which itself picked up the rumor from the noteworthy “people familiar with the matter” sources.

Following these stories from link to link, and month to month, offers only slightly less difficulty than reading Tolkien’s The Silmarillion in one sitting, but without the elves or Middle-Earth.

Essentially, they (Sullivan and BW, that is) indicate that Microsoft will do exactly what its reorganization aimed to accomplish: emphasize Windows Live and do for web services what Internet Explorer did for the browser market. IE holds about an 85 percent share, and Microsoft would not mind relegating online darlings like Yahoo and Google to the dot-com graveyard.

Ambitious, sure, but this is Microsoft, remember?

Eurekster isn’t giving anything away at this point, its CEO Steven Marder quite content to speak of ” negotiating potential partnerships with a number of portals and media companies.” Prudent words, probably 100 percent accurate and equally lacking in any real details.

BusinessWeek likes Microsoft’s potential to data-mine the information it possesses on its 230 million Hotmail users, and nearly as many MSN Messenger devotees, and bring that into the social networking mix as a ready-made userbase for a purchased or partnered Eurekster. That leaves us one question: isn’t anyone thinking about Friendster these days?

Anyone?


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Microsoft Strolls The Rumor Treadmill
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