Microsoft has been trying, with varying degrees of success, to break free of their PC-based roots for quite some time now, but their latest machinations almost smack of desperation. The failed bid for Yahoo seems to have set off a virtual explosion of rumors of talks with Facebook, Myspace, and AOL, but what it comes down to is Microsoft's need to establish a relevant presence in a market dominated by Google. One thing I will say for Microsoft is that they have taken significant market share in just about every market they have entered, so you might not want to bet against them.
When will Microsoft Facebook the music? (Telegraph)
One move that will end up being a good one for Microsoft is the release of Windows Live services on Blackberry devices. Microsoft currently holds about 5% of the online search ad business, but the deal with Blackberry will funnel a lot more people to Windows Live. The upcoming Live Mesh will allow users to store data online to be accessed by any device that can use Windows Live, and Microsoft is touting Silverlight as a viable replacement for Adobe's Flash in the rich media content market.
Microsoft's Hotmail, Live Messenger Head to BlackBerry (Information Week)
Inside Microsoft's War against Google (Business Week)
Microsoft is aggressive when entering new markets, which generally does not bode well for competitors in the space. However, Google may have an insurmountable lead for search advertising dollars, leaving Microsoft to try to carve out a niche (they actually hold some nice technology for delivering targeted video ads) for online advertising revenue. Still, Netscape once held a massive lead for internet browsers, and they have since been swallowed by Novell and regurgitated as Firefox, so you never can tell with Microsoft. Do you think Microsoft will ever catch Google and break away from their PC-based roots?