Microsoft who is struggling in the Smartphone, browser and desktop OS markets is now trying to buy their way into Twitter, according to several sources.The company who in 2007 offered $15 Billion to buy Facebook but were knocked back are desperate to buy an entity that will give them growth.
Last week CEO Steve Ballmer and his Twitter counterpart Dick Costolo were seen having breakfast according to Forbes Magazine.
This has sparked rumours that Microsoft might acquire, or at least cut a relationship deal with, Twitter.
Last week Microsoft’s Senior Director of Corporate Strategy and Acquisitions, Fritz Lanman, confirmed at the LeWeb conference that Ballmer had tried to buy Facebook in 2007.
Engadget said that Microsoft had offered as much as $15 billion and developed an in-stages plan to buy the company that would have addressed Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s desire to keep control.
Zuckerberg had eventually turned it down and only agreed to a $240 million stake that let Microsoft get a search deal.
One scenario centres on Microsoft buying a key stake in Twitter with the social network service being integrated exclusively into Microsoft products At the expense of Google.
The Windows developer has been one of the larger advocates of Twitter, building it into the Xbox 360 Dashboard and getting official apps for the Zune HD and Windows Phone 7. While mainly a feature addition on these platforms, an acquisition could lead to direct integration into the software itself and would very likely be used as leverage against Google. The latter indexes Twitter searches but could both lose that feature and see a more advanced version of it in Bing.
Twitter, simultaneously, has only just recently been generating revenue through sponsored trends and updates, and it may be looking to get financial security. Costolo was at one point an advertising product manager at Google.
One Analyst said that if Microsoft gets Twitter consumers will “desert it in droves”.