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Microsoft, Facebook and Bing: Do This!

We at RCPU don't make a habit of telling Microsoft what to do. We usually focus on what we think Microsoft is doing wrong or could be doing better. That's what bloggers do. We magnify problems without offering any solutions. We're like politicians in that sense.

Once in a while, though -- and this might actually be the first time -- an idea comes along that's so good, so smart and so seemingly simple that we just have to jump on the bandwagon and say, "Do it, Microsoft! Give Bing to Facebook in exchange for Facebook shares and some search revenue." Oh, it's not our idea, of course. Barron's explains:

"The idea, floated by a CNBC commentator last week, goes like this: Microsoft would turn Bing over to Facebook. Microsoft could receive Facebook shares, currently worth two times Bing revenues, roughly $4 billion, which [Nomura Securities analyst Rick] Sherlund posits as a 4% stake. Microsoft currently owns a 1.6% stake in Facebook, a company that is expected to be valued at as much as $100 billion after its initial public offering later this year. Of course, Facebook might want to wait until after the IPO to see what its shares are actually worth.

"The transaction would still allow Microsoft to achieve the two primary objectives behind its current ownership of Bing: making money off its Internet traffic and preventing Google from monopolizing search advertising."

So, that's an out for Microsoft from the Bing business, which never made a lot of sense in the first place, and a pretty well built-out search engine for Facebook, which the social network really seems to need. And the best part is that Microsoft could own a larger share of a huge-growth company and still make money off of a search engine -- without even having to mess with Bing anymore! Oh, and it's bad for Google!

Maybe we're just simpletons here (spare the comments, please, peanut gallery), but this Bing-Facebook thing seems so pure and so right that it almost has to happen. Of course, that pretty much guarantees that it won't happen, as Microsoft doesn't seem to do all that much that makes sense anymore. Ah, that's better. Taking random pot shots at Microsoft is so much more fun than supporting a constructive solution to a big problem. And we're back to blogging again.

What's your take on a Microsoft-Facebook Bing swap? Leave a comment below or send it to lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on April 17, 2012 at 11:56 AM

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Reader Comments

Tue, Jun 5, 2012

Welcome to another edition of LEE PENDER'S BLUNDER BLENDER. With Facebook stock DOWN 30%, recent studies saying that the younger generations are starting to treat Facebook like the old MySpace and some analysis predicting that Facebook could be the next AOL within a few years, it seems that the folks actually in Redmond (and not those at "Redmond" and actually in Boston) know what they're doing by NOT making a deal like this.

Tue, May 1, 2012 80s Rocker

For the one poster who says Bing does not work, it is obvious that he has never really used it. I have found that over the past 1yr or so When using the same search criteria on Bing and Google I get better results from Bing. And there is nothing I have not been able to find on Bing, that I could on Google. So quite bring a troll and actually use something before you make unproven statements.

Tue, Apr 17, 2012

Microsoft should market Bing as the "Doesn't spy on you and then combine the information with every e-mail you've ever written or received and every YouTube video you've ever watched and every site you've ever visited and everything you do on your 'roid phone and then then sell all of your information to the highest bidder" Engine. Of course, if it was sold to the Faceboobs, it would be redubbed The What-is-this-thing-you-call-"privacy" Engine.

Tue, Apr 17, 2012

Why would Facebook want a search engine that does not work. Microsoft's marketing message was effect. "Bing is the decision engine" and I decided not to use Bing... EVER! Glad to see Facebook is smarter.

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 MAC

Just what I wanted to do. Give the only other search engine worth a darn to a company that, like Google, seems to have zero scruples when it comes to privacy. I'm not saying MS doesn't track - they do - but it is WAY less invasive than either Facebook or Google.

Mon, Apr 16, 2012

"That's what bloggers do. We magnify problems without offering any solutions. We're like politicians in that sense... Taking random pot shots at Microsoft is so much more fun than supporting a constructive solution to a big problem." AAAHHH!!!! Now it finally makes sense. Mea culpa for all of my previous criticisms. I thought you kids were trying to be JOURNALISTS. I would imagine your ad sales guys just spit up their coffee over the fear of having to justify "journalism" ad rates for "blogger" content. Does that make your print publications just hardcopy blog posts -- kinda like what Newsweek devolved into?

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