In a brief item on CNBC earlier today, capital markets editor Gary Kaminsky made passing reference to a report that apparently claims Microsoft (MSFT) might be considering giving its “Bing” search operations to Facebook after the latter goes public, in return for additional shares in the social networking outfit.
Kaminsky said he would make available more details on the report, though I’ve been unable to turn up that information through CNBC representatives.
In the meantime, Rick Sherlund with Nomura Equity Research, who has a Buy rating on Microsoft, and a $37 price target, and whose firm is not involved with Facebook’s IPO, tells me this afternoon it could be a good thing for Microsoft.
Msg#: 4440522 posted 2:49 am on Apr 16, 2012 (gmt 0)
It depends on whether or not Facebook can get people to think of search when they go to Facebook. If and it is a big IF Facebook can get people to share and search there the next problem would be integration and growth. Yahoo! got rid of all the search tech brains, it is not clear if MSFT has them and Facebook does not seem to.
MSFT does not seem to have the same vision as Google when it comes to search and I don't think Facebook would either. Should Facebook [stock] crater at some point after it goes public, could a bigger stake in Facebook now be a step toward trying to takeover Facebook?
The ability of MSFT to move in that direction would be highly dependent on whether Facebook creates what is essentially a private public company with voting power concentrated in a few hands as Google has done.
Msg#: 4440522 posted 4:22 am on Apr 16, 2012 (gmt 0)
If FB integrates its social network data with Bing then Google is screwed. However it is still a large task but a ranking system based on FB recommendations should really frighten Google and its investors.
Msg#: 4440522 posted 9:24 am on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)
One would have to wonder if people would want a search experience with search and social data tied together. It always seemed like when people search, they search because they don't know what they want specifically, unless it is a brand term of some sort. If Google keeps stacking the deck with Google sites and Bing concentrated what it showed users on stuff their friends liked it seems like a huge chunk of people would find nothing but a walled garden of Google properties or only things their friends like.