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Microsoft wants Facebook–er, maybe not

 Just what company Microsoft will buy, or buy into, next has become a parlor game among solution providers and civilians alike.Last week,  The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources, that Microsoft was talking to Facebook about buying perhaps a five percent stake in the social networking company  for up to a half a billion dollars.  

The Journal valued Facebook at $10 billion or more. Staggering.

This week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was quoted in  The Times Of London in a way that indicated that social networking sites in general and by extension Facebook in particular were  “faddish.”

You could argue–and many did–that this was a ploy to drive price down. I would like to think Ballmer was just speaking his mind. He acknowledged that the Facebook community–tens of millions of user aggregated in its three years of existence–has value.

But a technology powerhouse? Seriously, does anyone really see Facebook as a legitimate application development platform?

Let me know. I can take it.

Barbara Darrow, a Boston-area journalist, can be reached at

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This fits into Microsoft's business model - why develop new technology when you can just buy it? Ballmer is a bit of a character, but I think his comments are a ploy to drive down the value of facebook. Web 2.0, technically and culturally is a polar opposite of MS's way of doing business. Downplaying a focal point of the web 2.0 world may also be an attempt to degrade the entire movement. But who listens to Ballmer anyway? When dinosaurs talk to each other they always say what each other wants to hear anyway. Facebook itself may not be the future of enterprise application development, but the why and how and spirt and culture of the people involved are.