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Microsoft may invest in Facebook

Microsoft may invest in Facebook

Facebook may gain between £150 to £250 million if Microsoft purchases up to five percent of the company.

Microsoft is in talks to purchase up to five percent of Facebook - at least according to the Wall Street Journal it is. Should the deal go through, the company could be valued at more then £5 billion. Microsoft is looking to pay between £150 and £250 million for the shares.

Facebook is already trying to attract developers to the website. The company hopes to turn it into a full-fledged web platform for gaming, news, and other applications. Our own forum members have even jumped into Facebook development with David Verhasselt (AKA Relix) developing a Facebook version of his webcam tool Seenly.

This move by Microsoft will help bring the software giant further into the realms of the internet. While already synonymous with operating systems and office productivity software, the company hasn't really taken off in areas that rival Google has exceeded in. Investing in Facebook will offer a jump-off platform to get new online software out to the public. There has already been cases of developers selling their applications after they've become popular on Facebook.

Microsoft already has an exclusive advertising agreement with Facebook until 2011.

Facebook currently has around 39 million members and is still growing compared to rival MySpace's 200 million userbase. The company hopes to sell shares on the stock market eventually.

If there is any fact to the rumours, one thing is for sure - Microsoft and Facebook are keeping quiet on any negotiations that are taking place.

Are you a member of Facebook? Join the bit-tech group and then head over to the forums and leave your thoughts on this move by Microsoft.

15 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Mankz 25th September 2007, 17:13 Quote
Please don't screw up face-book Microsoft!

I love it!
xrob 25th September 2007, 17:17 Quote
i wish facebook would go away, all everyone seems to talk about, urg i hate this social networking!
AcidJiles 25th September 2007, 17:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by xrob
i wish facebook would go away, all everyone seems to talk about, urg i hate this social networking!

quoted for truth
Risky 25th September 2007, 17:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by xrob
i wish facebook would go away, all everyone seems to talk about, urg i hate this social networking!

I don't give a damm about it, but I wish someone could explain (with a cattle-prod) to mainstream journalists that second life, facebook and the rest arn't really that important. I guess they could also tell them that there are other audio players that don't require a black polo-neck, but that might be a step too far.
chrisb2e9 25th September 2007, 18:00 Quote
relix's name is david? i didn't know that.
<A88> 25th September 2007, 18:01 Quote
I love the way Microsoft has developed an open set of social-networking services, but Live Spaces just isn't up to Facebook. Hopefully this move will mean Facebook opens up to apps such as Live Writer and Live Photo Gallery to make it a lot easier to manage PC content and share it on Facebook.

<A88>
Blademrk 25th September 2007, 18:10 Quote
I've only recently joined Facebook as a couple of friends who've moved away use it and it seems to be a good way to share photos and keep in touch in general (besides E-mail and MSN).
Tim S 25th September 2007, 18:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Risky
Quote:
Originally Posted by xrob
i wish facebook would go away, all everyone seems to talk about, urg i hate this social networking!

I don't give a damm about it, but I wish someone could explain (with a cattle-prod) to mainstream journalists that second life, facebook and the rest arn't really that important. I guess they could also tell them that there are other audio players that don't require a black polo-neck, but that might be a step too far.

Intel says second life is about as close to the future of the Internet as we're going to get today. Intel would like us to believe that virtual worlds are the way forwards. :p
DougEdey 25th September 2007, 18:25 Quote
If they get a controlling stale I bet £10 they will force a change to ASP.

Facebook is currently perfect on PHP
GuitarBizarre 25th September 2007, 18:50 Quote
Not to be finicky, but should 'There has already been developers' be 'There already HAVE been developers"?

Ok so I lied, it was finicky, but meh.


Personally I like facebook, if only because there aren't any applications for it that are solely for the purpose of adding friends to your lists. (Thats how bad myspace is. There are actually applications developed for the sole purpose of whoring yourself onto everyones friend list.)
mikeuk2004 25th September 2007, 19:52 Quote
This was on BBC news 24. What is the appeal with facebook and myspace. I dont get it. Well if ms screw it up then it does not matter much
<A88> 25th September 2007, 20:15 Quote
I hated Myspace with a vengeance and only over used social networking (my Live Space as it was tied in with Live Messenger) to share photos and note interesting things that had happened in my life (suffice to say it was barely used). However having joined Facebook for the sake of keeping in contact with all my old friends whilst I'm at uni, I'm actually quite impressed. It makes finding people with similar interests and whatnot very easy, and seems to have have much more purpose than Myspace.

In terms of Microsoft's push so far in the social networking arena, as I said before they seem to have got it tied up quite well. I can take photos on my WM6 phone and upload them directly to my Live Space with 2 clicks- likewise Photo Gallery now has an upload function and their other Windows Live sites such as Soapbox allow you to blog or add content to your space quite quickly. The issue with all of these services is that although they work seamlessly together, they also have to be used together. Youtube is far more popular than Soapbox and sites like Flickr are much more popular for photosharing (although there is a rumour that MS are considering adding Flickr support to the Photo Gallery). If you ask me, it would be ideal if they managed to get support for more popular apps whilst retaining services such as Live Spaces as a central hub for all content- thus meaning uploaded content would go to a user-selected service as well as simultaneously being added to the account's Live Space. Just my way of seeing things anyway...

<A88>
relix 25th September 2007, 22:20 Quote
Thanks for the plug, Phil!

Personally, I feel Facebook has the worst developer support ever. Incomplete or just plain wrong documentation, undocumented but mentioned features that will or will not disappear, every now and then major changes to its architecture, which are announced only 10 days in advance, after which you are forced to comply to the changes or your application breaks. You don't have a way of knowing if the changes you made actually work, either. You just have to wait for the deadline and hope for the best. No announcement on new features, so you're forced to check the documentation page (which, up until recently, was a poorly maintained wiki frontpage (now it's just an averagely maintained wiki frontpage)) every day.

Stuff like that has made porting Seenly over to Facebook (and maintaining it) a friggin' nightmare.

What's worse, they actually have a clause in their ToS which states that if your application is popular they can clone it feature-for-feature without owing you anything. Yes, this is understandable in a way, but it probably scares some people off of doing great things with the "platform". Imagine spending a year perfecting your application, only to see Facebook clone it and integrate it far better than you could ever do (see windows and office).
Risky 26th September 2007, 00:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
Intel says second life is about as close to the future of the Internet as we're going to get today. Intel would like us to believe that virtual worlds are the way forwards. :p


Well they would, I'm sure, given they're making the hardware. But whilst I though Snowcrash was great reading, nothing I've heard about Second Life makes it look vaguely appealing, let alone essential for anything I can think of. Forums like this probably have more meaningfull social impact than all the SL fuss.
DougEdey 26th September 2007, 03:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by relix
SNIP

Sounds like Microsoft territory
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